A grandfather whose pet was savaged by another dog was then attacked with a tennis racket by its owner.

Charles Scott was out walking pet, Ted, when it was "severely" attacked by Andrew Richards' animal in Wallsend.

When attempts to split the dogs up by Richards failed, Mr Scott stuck the aggressive animal with a tennis racket to try to save his own pet.

He then picked up Ted, who he thought was dead, and as he walked off, Richards attacked him from behind, hitting him on the head with the racket.

Mr Scott was left with a bleeding wound to his head and has suffered serious consequences as a result.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was on October 6 last year around 4pm when the two men were separately walking their dogs off their leads.

Vince Ward, prosecuting, said: "The defendant's dog attack Mr Scott's dog. The defendant's dog was holding the other dog in its jaw by the neck.

"The defendant tried, unsuccessfully, to get his dog to release Mr Scott's dog.

"Because that was unsuccessful, Mr Scott hit the defendant's dog with a tennis racket he found in a garden.

"Mr Scott picked up his dog, which appeared to him to be dead at that time but fortunately was not.

"He began to walk away towards his home and the defendant then picked up the tennis racket and hit Mr Scott over the head from behind."

Mr Ward added: "He was particularly vulnerable at the time as he had his back to the defendant when he struck and was clearly preoccupied by the condition his dog was in."

Richards then raised the racket a second time, as if to hit him again, but neighbours who saw the incident unfold banged on the window and shouted, which put him off.

The couple who witnessed the attack took photographs of the attacker and Richards was identified and arrested after they were posted on social media.

The court heard the injury bled immediately and Mr Scott's niece, who is a nurse, cleaned the wound, which was around 9 to 10cm long and applied steristrips.

The victim said in a statement read to the court that he regularly walked the route with his eight-year-old grandson but is now frightened to in case he sees Richards again.

He said he suffered financial loss as a result of the dog attack and also had "sharp headaches" and "reactive depression" brought on by the assault.

Richards, 48, of Alnwick Street, Wallsend, who has 39 previous convictions, including for assault, throwing a corrosive substance and possessing offensive weapons, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

He was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months with 150 hours unpaid work and £1,500 compensation.

Judge Robert Adams told him: "This attack on him was completely unprovoked and it was your dog that attacked his.

"It has caused him significant concerns.

"He suffers headaches, becomes tearful and didn't want to go out. This was entirely down to the attack you carried out on him."

The judge added that Richards had been out of trouble for 12 years and reacted impulsively to his dog being struck and was remorseful.

Joe Hedworth, defending, said Richards is a dad-of-four and works as a painter and decorator, adding: "He apologises profusely and accepts full responsibility and is greatly ashamed..

"Fortunately the injuries were not as serious as they could have been."