A VICIOUS squirrel attacked mum Martine Browne after it pounced on her young son's head.

Martine, 25, was walking along the path leading from Gorse Hill to her home in Hornbeam Court, Pinehurst, when a grey squirrel launched itself at her son Reece.

Three-year-old Reece reacted calmly but when Martine tried to shoo the squirrel away, it turned on her and sank its teeth into her hands and arm.

Martine was enjoying a leisurely stroll home as she returned from a shopping trip with Reece and Jasmin, her six-year-old stepdaughter.

The full-time mum suffered four wounds and was treated at the Great Western Hospital.

She said: "I'm still in shock. I cannot believe a squirrel would do that.

"There was blood everywhere all down my arms and over my clothes.

"I'm scared to use that path now."

The squirrel mauled Martine after she stopped to show it to her two children.

"It all happened so fast. I had the buggy with me, but I let Reece get out to run around.

I said, Look at that squirrel' and then it jumped on Reece.

"I tried to remove the squirrel four times and it attacked me four times."

Martine suffered a deep wound on the bottom knuckle of her little finger, a bite on the back of her elbow and scratches on her lower arm in the attack, which took place shortly after 1pm on Monday.

Nurses at the Great Western Hospital checked that she had had a tetanus jab, dressed her wounds and gave her antibiotics.

But the wound had re-opened by the evening and Martine had to go back to the Clover Walk-in Centre.

Now she is warning other walkers in Swindon to be on their guard against the fluffy rodents.

She said: "I thought squirrels were harmless people need to be warned about them.

"What if it had happened to a baby or an elderly person who couldn't have fended it off? If something happened I couldn't live with that on my conscience."

Anita Pile, a veterinary nurse at Shaw Veterinary Centre, said that while squirrels would not normally approach humans, people should be cautious around them.

She said: "They're quite capable of stripping bark off trees and cracking through nuts.

"That's what their teeth are designed for.

"So when they do bite it is nasty."