Sleeping girl, aged seven, bitten on the face by a foot-long rat
A terrified mum has spoken of her horror after her seven-year-old daughter was attacked in her bed by a foot-long rat.
Francesca Williams was bitten on her face and arm by a wild rat which had crawled into her bed while she slept at her home in Symonds Yat, Herefordshire.
Francesca's parents Wendy and Darren woke to hear their daughter's cries at around 2.30am.
Thinking the schoolgirl had had a bad dream they went in to check she was okay and were shocked to find her face and arm covered in blood.
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Mum Wendy, 35, said: "She was crying and said a big brown animal had bitten her.
"She said she woke up after feeling something crawling on her leg and when she moved it bit her.
"We could see from the blood on her face and arm that something had happened so my husband Darren went to get our dog Hattie to see if he could find anything.
"The dog immediately sniffed the rat out, it was hiding underneath Francesca's bed. Hattie killed it and Darren threw it outside."
Wendy said Francesca was left traumatised by the incident and has only just plucked up the courage to sleep in her own room again, following the incident on Thursday.
She said while they lived in a rural area they rarely saw any rats and were puzzled at how the rat had managed to get in.
"There have been no droppings, nests or signs of any rats in our home so we can only assume it got in that day, through the cat flap perhaps.
"You just never think a rat would come into your home, let alone bite your child, it's unbelievable.
"I thought she was having a bad dream or couldn't find her teddy, never in a million years did I think Francesca would have been bitten by a rat.
"You hear about rats carrying diseases and so we worried Francesca may have caught an infection but she's been to the doctors and has been given some antibiotics and luckily everything is okay.
"It could have been so much worse, what if it had bitten her near her eye or if the rat had bitten a baby, it's frightening."