A danger dog which savaged a woman in a South Tyneside flat was shot dead by police to stop it attacking again.
Northumbria Police say the Japanese Akita was killed at the upstairs flat in Julian Street, on the Lawe Top, South Shields, to prevent it causing further injury.
The police statement came as the man suspected of owning the ferocious animal spoke of the horrific attack which left the woman needing hospital treatment.
The incident happened at 7pm on Saturday.
It is believed the woman suffered severe neck injuries in the attack and Scott Sehman says the dog only stopped the attack when he punched it and dragged it off the woman.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Given the circumstances, the large dog had already bitten a member of the public and was dangerous.
“To prevent further injury, it was decided it was appropriate for firearms officers to deal with the animal inside the house.
“The dog was shot.”
Mr Sehman, 31, confirmed he had been present during the attack and had been arrested and bailed by police following the incident at his mother’s home.
Mr Sehman insisted the dog - believed to be named Marley - belonged to another family member.
He said: “I brought my friend back and we went into one of the bedrooms because that is the room where the only TV is.
“She’d had a lot to drink and just lay back on the bed.
“The next second the dog went for her neck. It was awful.
“It just wouldn’t get off. I punched it in the face three or four times and grabbed its collar and chain and dragged it off.
“It all happened in an instant.”
He added: “I blocked the dog in the room, called an ambulance and helped her out the flat as best I could.
“She had what looked like a huge gash in the side of her neck. At first I was told her injuries were life threatening.
“She’s out of any danger now and recovering in hospital.”
He added: “I’ve been arrested and it isn’t even my dog.
“I think the police wrestled the dog out of the bedroom and pulled it into the living room.
“I found two shells from a gun there.
“None of this was down to me but I feel very guilty about the injuries to my friend.
“I’m going to see her and apologise.”
Police, who are thought to have been at the scene several hours, confirmed a 31-year-old man had been arrested and released under investigation and their investigations were ongoing.
They said the man was arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control.