Three-year-old dies after being bitten by dog in Essex

A three-year-old boy has died after being bitten by a dog at a house in Essex.

Dexter Neal was heard screaming by neighbours as he was rushed to hospital at around 5.40pm on Thursday, but he later died from his injuries.

A 29-year-old woman has been arrested for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control.

The American bulldog has been seized by police and placed in kennels.

The dog has been seized by police and placed in kennels. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Neighbour Phyllis Younger said she heard screaming with emergency services arriving shortly afterwards.

The 82-year-old said the screaming "did not go on for long" and she was sure it was from a child.

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

Tributes have been left outside the house where the dog attack took place. Credit: John Stillwell / PA Wire

Mother-of-five Lisa Smith, 43, who also lives in Parker Way said the family involved "kept themselves to themselves" and had not lived in the street as long as her others.

She said: "They're very private people to be fair. It's just terrible. I just feel so sorry for them."

Shirley Diver, the mayor of Halstead Town Council, said: "It is an absolute tragedy, the whole town will be completely shocked and devastated by this.

"It is such a terrible thing to happen anywhere, you just don't expect it to happen in your town. We are a close-knit community, everybody knows everybody."

People leave flowers at the scene. Credit: PA

The East of England Ambulance Service said an air ambulance was called to the scene, while it also sent two rapid response vehicles, paramedics and an ambulance to the property.

A spokesman said: "At the scene, a young child was treated for life-threatening injuries before being airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

"Sadly, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the child has died. Our thoughts are with the family involved at this time."

James Cleverly, MP for Braintree, whose constituency includes Halstead, said: "It's a small town with a very strong sense of community and this will be a massive shock. It will be a body blow to the town.

"There's a huge sense of civic pride and when news like this happens in your local area it's a real shock."

52-year-old David Ellam was killed by a dog in Huddersfield on Monday. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

The incident comes just days after 52-year-old David Ellam was attacked and killed by a dog which had been returned to its owner despite concerns that it was dangerous.

Ellam was out walking with his Yorkshire terrier close to his home in Huddersfield on Monday when he was attacked by another dog. He later died in hospital.

Figures last year showed that dog attacks have soared 76% in the past decade, with more than 7,000 people taken to hospital between 2014 and 2015.