A DOGNAPPER has been jailed for using a fake gun to seize back a pet which she claimed to own.

Kelly Sorensen burst into a house in Bideford with two men and used the butt of the 9 millimetre starting pistol to club victim Martyn Oliver before firing it at his head at almost point blank range.

He thought he had been shot because he heard the crack of the gun, saw the flash of the blank shot and felt blood pouring from the back of the head, where he had in fact been hit by the butt.

Sorensen grabbed the disputed dog and fled but was traced by police and arrested. She had earlier called the RSPCA in a failed attempt to get them to recover the pet.

She was a drug user at the time who is shown to have tattoos on both sides of her face in a mugshot which police took within hours her arrest on February 21 this year.

Sorensen, aged 43, of Newton Road, Bideford, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. She was jailed for two years and four months by Recorder Mr David Chidgey at Exeter Crown Court.

He told her: 'Clearly, there had been a dispute over the dog. You hit him on the head, he saw you had a gun. He felt blood over his face and thought he had been shot in the back of the head.

'You had been out of trouble for some time before this, you have expressed remorse, and taken responsibility for your actions. You have struggled over time with drugs but have now got clean.

'You were clearly distressed in relation to this animal and had contacted the RSPCA but been told nothing could be done.'

Dr Rowan Jenkins, prosecuting, said Sorensen and Mr Oliver previously owned the dog between them and both were very attached to it. On the afternoon of February 21 she went to his home in Pridham Place, Bideford to take it back.

He opened the door because he thought she was alone but she burst in with two men and pulled out a realistic looking handgun which was later found to be a 9 mm blank firing starting pistol.

She hit him over the head, causing two gashes, although she said she hit him with her elbow rather than the gun.

Dr Jenkins said: 'She put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. It cannot said to have been discharged because it was a starting pistol, but Mr Oliver believed he had been shot in the head.

'The three left with the dog while Mr Oliver sat in distress. He said he believed he had been shot with a real gun. Sorensen was arrested and taken into custody.'

Miss Hollie Gilbery, mitigating, said Sorensen had stayed out of trouble for ten years but had relapsed into drug use. She has got clean while on remand in prison.

She said: 'She was associating with the wrong people and using drugs. She does not recognise herself as the same person she was in February.'