Police Federation



A pair of police officers who were mauled by a suspect’s dog in a relentless attack have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023.

PCs Joshua Williams and Emma Gray were responding to a report of a domestic incident in Blyth last January in the early hours.

Upon arrival, Sean Bell called upon his large Staffordshire bull terrier, ordering it to ‘get them’. The dog ferociously attacked PC Gray and PC Williams, causing multiple puncture wounds and lacerations.

The 37-year-old also rained down punches on the officers as they tried to place him in handcuffs, all while continuing to encourage his dog to attack them.

Maintaining their hold on the assailant, the officers made efforts to fend off the attack by kicking the dog away, but the attack was relentless.

Despite the significant injuries they continued to receive, the officers persevered and eventually managed to arrest Bell with help from back-up, while the dog was detained by members of the force’s dog unit.

Both PCs Williams and Gray attended hospital and were required to have tetanus shots.

PC Gray was also prescribed morphine for her injuries and has lasting nerve damage as a result of the ordeal.

Both officers continue to be supported, owing to the traumatic nature of the attack.

Bell, of Banbury Road, Kenton, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison.

Jim Gray, Northumbria Police Federation chair, said: “PC Gray and PC Williams showed immense bravery throughout the entirety of their actions in their efforts to protect a vulnerable member of the community, putting their physical and mental health on the line.

“Despite their horrific ordeal, both officers remain an integral part of their team and still come to work each and every day to deliver the same outstanding service to protect their colleagues and communities.

“They are a true credit and inspiration to their colleagues in Northumbria and further afield and are truly worthy of national recognition for what they have already done and continue to do.”

Northern Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Sam Rennison, praised the actions of the officers involved.

She said: “I am overwhelmed by the bravery PCs Joshua Williams and Emma Gray demonstrated in the face of such shocking violence.

“The officers, staff and volunteers who proudly pull on their Northumbria Police uniform every day, do so because they want to keep people safe and protect our communities.

“Sean Bell’s behaviour was completely unacceptable. As a force filled with animal lovers, it was extremely distressing to see a dog used in such a way to attack those only trying to do their jobs.

“I would like to commend the ongoing bravery of the PCs Williams and Gray, who both swiftly returned to work, continuing their commitment to serve their communities.

“They are a credit to themselves, Northumbria Police and their communities.

“As a force, we are extremely proud of them and they thoroughly deserve the recognition they are receiving.”


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