In the Media

'A hand for a hand': knife-wielding burgler slashed woman after dog bit him

PUBLISHED May 14, 2012

The hooded man, who police are now hunting, had been bitten on the hand by Pip, an Alsatian, when he slashed owner Alison Belmont, 40, across the face and body.

The dog, which only has three legs after a road accident, frightened him into dropping the blade and running away.

Just three days later the man returned with an accomplice and crept up on Mrs Belmont while she was in her garden, pinning her to a bench and slicing her hand with a machete while he proclaimed: "A hand for a hand".

Police have now issued an e-fit picture of the suspect following the assault, on Friday April 13 in Baguely, Greater Manchester and hope anyone who knows him may turn him in.

Mrs Belmont, a grandmother, needed 11 stitches to her face and arm after the first vicious attack and now says she is too afraid to leave her home.

She said: "I probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Pip and I believe she saved my life.

"The first thing I remember after the attack was giving Pip a great big hug for looking after me. She was like a little Lassie in the way she protected me from this man.

"Pip doesn't go anywhere without me. I rescued her from a dog's home when she was a puppy and we have been best friends ever since."

Mrs Belmont said she had heard a noise from downstairs while she was cleaning a back bedroom in her house and went downstairs to find a stranger looting her kitchen.

Once he realised he had caught red handed, she said, the burglar grabbed a carving knife left on the kitchen top and lunged at her, slashing her with the knife on her cheek and her arm.

Mrs Belmont said: "I heard Pip growling and coins crashing on the floor. I looked out the bedroom window and there was no one there so I came down and went into the living room and the glass cabinets were all open and the piggy bank where I keep money for my granddaughter was on the floor.

"I heard coins again in the kitchen so I went in and he was crouched on the floor.

"I was that scared that I just picked up the jar and threw it at him.

"But I didn't realise that he had picked up a kitchen knife from the draining board and he tried to lunge forward and he hit me just under my eye.

"He went to stab me again and he slashed my arm but pip jumped up to protect me and bit him on the arm. He dropped the knife, ran and jumped over the fence in the garden.

"I fell to the floor and then the next thing I know Pip was licking my face presumably to clean up the blood.

"I don't know how long I was out for but there was blood all over the wall and a big splatter from where he had cut my arm. I was in total shock. I was on another planet and my head was pounding.

"The man came back again three days later with someone else whilst my husband was out. They jumped over the back fence just as I was bringing in the washing because it had just started to rain.

"One of them grabbed my hand and pinned it on the garden bench and the one that stabbed me had a machete about 1.5ft long. It was an old blunt rusty one. He said, 'a hand for a hand' before slicing the top of my hand - just because Pip had bitten him.

"Unfortunately Pip was asleep in her bed in the house and the back door was shut so she couldn't come to my rescue this time.

"I have always been out going and happy to walk places on my own like the shops but now the slightest thing that I see at my window terrifies me.

"I have been looking out for grey hoodies everywhere and if I see any I panic. It's fear that they know where I live and how vulnerable I am but I don't know where they are.

"I believe that both men must be close by because they came back so soon, which really worries me that they might try and come back again."

Det Con Christopher Broad from Greater Manchester Police said: "This woman was subjected to a terrifying attack in the sanctity of her own home, a place where she should feel safe.

"Thankfully she was not more seriously injured during this attack but she has understandably been left extremely distressed by what has happened to her.

"Detectives have been working to try and identify the man and we have now released an efit of the suspect. If you recognise the person from this image, please get in touch with us.

"Your information could be vital to our investigation and help us to take this dangerous individual off our streets."