Boy, 3, killed by dog named as Dexter Neal

A three-year-old boy who was killed by an American bulldog in Essex has been named as Dexter Neal.

Dexter died in hospital after being bitten at a house in Parker Way, Halstead near his home, at around 5.40pm on Thursday.

A 29-year-old woman arrested for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control has been released on bail, Essex Police said.

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

A police cordon is in place around the semi-detached property where the attack happened - with floral tributes beginning to be left outside.

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."

People have been leaving flowers at the scene. Credit: ITV News
Tributes have been left outside the house where the dog attack took place. Credit: ITV News

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."

Essex Police said family liaison officers have been deployed to support the family, adding: "We strongly request that their privacy is respected as this extremely difficult time."