A WOMAN thought she was going to die when she was attacked by two Staffordshire bull terriers after going to rescue her pet cat who was being savaged by the dogs.

“Blood was spurting everywhere” as one of the animals owned by Gemma Hearne latched its jaws around Linda Hicks’ forearm.

It bit through to the bone after trying to tear her cat in two.

Fellow neighbours came to her aid and frantically tried to release the beast who remained clasped on to her during the terrifying attack in Newport.


It took five minutes for them to prise the dog off when one of them stabbed it in the gums with a screwdriver.

Prosecutor William Bebb said: “Miss Hicks heard her cat screaming and crying and the sound of growling coming from her back garden.

“She went out and saw the cat being pulled apart by two dogs. The larger dog then jumped up and bit her right forearm and was hanging on to her arm.

“Miss Hicks screamed and thought she was going to die. The dog was latched on to her arm and there was blood spurting everywhere.”

Mr Bebb told the court how her neighbours came to her aid and helped fight off the dogs, a puppy called Storm and an older animal called Molly.

He said: “Tony Bond ran out and used a pole against the dog but it had no effect and its grip was only released when someone else used a screwdriver to stab it in the gums.

“It took five minutes to make Miss Hicks safe. There was a mass of tissue exposed and she had two big cuts with blood everywhere.

“The cat was in a mess with lacerations everywhere and it was visibly distressed.”

The animals got into the garden through a hole in the fence.

Hearne, who followed proceedings through a British Sign Language interpreter, pleaded guilty to two counts of being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control on July 21, 2019.

Newport Crown Court heard that the defendant, aged 38, of Keene Avenue, Rogerstone, had no previous convictions.

Mr Bebb said Miss Hicks told police: “I always thought the dogs were very aggressive. They made holes in the garden fence and would stick their heads through.

“I thought they would attack me if they got through.”

Karl Williams, representing Hearne, said his client was very remorseful about what had happened.

He told the court that the defendant and victim had been neighbours for some time and got on very well.

Mr Williams added: “The stoic response of the complainant is something to be applauded. It is generous.”

Hearne, who has recently had a baby daughter, was told by Judge Richard Twomlow that she would not be going to prison.

He adjourned sentence to February 21 so that more information could be gathered to decide the future of the dogs and to determine if they were to be destroyed.

Both animals are being kept in a police pound.

Hearne was released on bail until next month.