Aaron Aston was stabbed in the ribs while foiling a shocking attempt to nick his dog Vinnie

A crazed knifeman is being hunted by cops for stabbing a man who foiled a shocking attempt to nick his dog.

Aaron Aston told officers he was attacked with a pocket knife by the yob who left him to stagger to a mate's house, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

The 20-year-old was pounced on by his attacker as he walked his dog Vinnie down an alley in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

The animal, named after Vinnie Jones, is a blue lilac French bulldog, now just five months old.

He is a full pedigree pure breed worth £2,500 and Kennel Club registered.

The self-employed gardener said: "I was out walking the dog by myself. I had decided to take him on a long walk while my girlfriend was at work.

"I was walking through a ginnel and someone asked me 'Is that a French bulldog?' and asked how old he is.

"I told him and he said 'Great. That's nice – now give me your f**king dog.'"

Aaron told how the horror late-night attack then unfolded: "I carried on walking and he crept up behind me and punched me in the face. I hit him back and thought he had punched me in the ribs – but he had stabbed me.

"I picked up my dog and went to my mate's. It was only when he saw the hole in my jumper I realised I had been stabbed.

"It was bleeding quite badly. I had to hold the wound together. I had to get a taxi to hospital and get stitches.

The 20-year-old was pounced on and stabbed by his attacker as he walked his dog Vinnie

"I have had anxiety afterwards. Now it's really bad. I have to be in the house by 4pm with all the doors locked and the lights off. I won't even answer the phone.

"I feel like I am in jail.

"The man who attacked me sounded in his mid 20s. He was about 5ft 10ins or 11ins, and stocky build.

"He was dressed all in black. His face was covered up by his jumper so I could just see his eyes.

Aaron doesn't know what he was stabbed with.

"The doctors said I had definitely been stabbed. The police said it looked like a pocket knife wound," he continued.

"My mum has to park outside and come to the door so I can walk the dog in front of the flat on the grass."

Shaken Aaron is now on medication for his anxiety.

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The attack on Mr Aston happened off Potter Newton Lane, Meanwood, Leeds.

"It was 6 or 7pm in the evening. It was dark. It was pitch black. It happened about a month ago on a Tuesday evening.

"It is close to Christmas and you get thieves who take anything."

A French bulldog about four months old was snatched from on Seacroft Estate, Leeds, just a few weeks after his ordeal.

Vinnie was a gift for his girlfriend Cheznie Nicholls, 19.

He added: "I was not going to let the dog be taken. It was not happening."

"She didn't know how to take it when she got a phone call saying her boyfriend had been stabbed," he continued.

"It was pretty scary. It is one of those things - you take the wrong path and it could happen to anyone.

"Everyone loves their dogs. They are family at the end of the day."

West Yorkshire police have been contacted for comment.