South East Wales

Abergavenny boy, 10, in tractor saves father from bull

Tom Phillips on a tractor
Image caption Tom Phillips climbed into the tractor and nudged the bull away from his father

A 10-year-old boy who watched a bull attack his father may have saved his life by driving a tractor at the beast.

Tom Phillips watched as the animal attacked his father Andrew at their farm in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

After driving off the bull, which left Andrew with 10 broken ribs and internal injuries, Tom raised the alarm.

"Andrew only survived because of Tom's amazing reactions," said Tom's mother Amanda. "He's my little hero. I can't tell you how proud I am of him."

Tom was with his father in a field when they were charged by the 2,000lb (907kg) Limousin bull.

While the bull mauled Mr Phillips, 46, and then stood over him, Tom climbed into the tractor's cab for safety.

Despite not being allowed to drive the tractor, Tom started it up and drove slowly towards the bull.

He managed to nudge it away from his father, then believing his father might be dead, ran back to the farmhouse to alert his mother.

A trained first-aider, Mrs Phillips, 39, dialled 999 and then ran to her stricken husband, but failed to find a pulse.

An RAF rescue helicopter flew to the field on the family's Cross Ash farm to take Mr Phillips to intensive care in hospital.

After two weeks he was finally allowed home on Thursday.

Mrs Phillips said it must have been horrific for Tom to see his father being attacked by the bull.

'Immensely proud'

"He idolises his dad and he was sure the bull had killed him and was about to trample over his body," he said.

"We don't let him drive the tractor but he's obviously watched Andrew behind the wheel often enough so he knew what to do.

Image caption Tom's father Andrew was in hospital for two weeks after the attack

"He drove towards the bull and managed to push it away from Andrew."

Mrs Phillips said Tom had told her that he had been worried about crushing his father's legs under the tractor's wheels.

"It was a dreadful thing for a boy of his age to go through and he's had a few nightmares since," she said.

"But he can be immensely proud of himself - he saved his dad's life."

The bull, hired in from a local stud, has been removed from the Phillips' 100-acre cattle farm.

"I was a bit worried about driving the tractor but I just did what I had to do," said Tom. "I'm glad my dad is going to be alright."