Family 'devastated' after three-year-old boy killed by dog

The dog has been seized and placed in kennels

The uncle of a three-year-old boy who died after being attacked by a dog says the family has suffered "an absolutely devastating loss".

Dexter Neal died in hospital after being bitten at a house not far from his home in Essex, in England, on Thursday.

Writing on Facebook, Ashley Coe described Dexter as his "darling nephew", adding: "I can't even begin to describe what state we are all in.

"This is an absolutely devastating loss for my sister and her husband and there's nothing I can say to them."
Witnesses described a dog being dragged from a home, moments before a woman emerged with a child covered in blood.

One neighbour said the distraught woman was on her knees in floods of tears as paramedics tried to save Dexter.

Others described sickening screams as they dashed to the house to try to help the dying boy.

A 29-year-old woman who was arrested for allegedly allowing a dog to be "dangerously out of control" has since been released on police bail.

The animal - identified as an American bulldog, which is not a banned breed in the UK - has been seized by police and placed in kennels.

Two police officers were seen guarding the front of the house, which was cordoned off with tape.

As forensics officers examined the scene, blood could be seen on the floor of an outhouse, including a spatter across a child's toy car.

Neighbours described seeing a white dog being dragged from the property with "its face ... covered in blood".

Scott Howell, 19, said: "I heard this terrible screaming and thought it was kids playing in the garden, but then I thought this is going on a bit too long.

"I went to my parents' bedroom window facing the house and that is when I saw the man dragging the dog out. Its face was covered in blood.

"I heard somebody saying one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, sounding like chest compressions," the EssexLive website reported.

He added that a woman at the scene was "devastated" and that she was "on her knees crying and covered in blood".

Phyllis Younger, 82, said she heard screaming at around 5.45pm.

"Now I know what the scream was, it is absolutely awful," she said, adding: "It was like someone was in pain, definitely - agonising screams.

"It is terrible."

She said she thought the screams came from outside, adding: "I don't think I would have heard it as clearly if it had been in the house."

Neighbour Craig Bacon told Sky News he thought the dog at the property was a "small white one". "I saw it on Sunday and it was walking along the street - it seemed fine," he said.