Suspended sentence for man who grabbed police dog’s throat

PD Ivy has since retired Picture: ESSEX POLICE

PD Ivy has since retired Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Archant

A man who grabbed the throat of a police dog and pulled at its throat has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Niall Martin, 29, of Stalin Road, Colchester, appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on Thursday, January 23.

On January 22, 2019 Essex Police received reports of a domestic incident in Blackthorn Avenue in the town. Police dog Ivy and her handler, PC Sophie Chesters, were called to the scene at around 10.30pm.

Martin was seen running off and was caught climbing a fence by PD Ivy.

While being arrested, Martin managed to escape and ran off but was caught again by the police dog.

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He then attacked PD Ivy, forcing her mouth open which caused her to scream.

Martin was found by PC Chesters with his hands around the dog's throat.

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PC Chesters and two Special Constables arrested Martin and found he was in possession of cannabis.

In court Martin admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and received 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

He was ordered to pay £300 in court costs, £115 victim surcharge and £50 compensation and will be required to complete 19 days programme requirement and 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Martin received a £150 fine for breaching a domestic violence protection order and received no separate penalty for possession of cannabis.

PC Chesters said: "Police Dog Ivy retired earlier this month and she is happily settled into home life with me and my family.

"She enjoys laying on the sofa and being treated like a princess.

"I was extremely proud of her during the incident. Despite being attacked she did her utmost to protect me while detaining Martin.

"I will always be proud of what she achieved during her career and that evening.

"Only a few nights after that incident she caught a fleeing burglar in Colchester.

"I look forward to her enjoying the luxuries of retirement, it's well deserved."

Chief Inspector Shaun Kane said: "This incident was particularly cruel due to the vicious attack Martin had subjected Police Dog Ivy to.

"Police dogs are very much our staff and members of our policing family. Acting in the service of duty to keep people safe in our communities, upholding the law and keeping the peace.

"There was no excuse for the behaviour Martin displayed and I am immensely proud of the police response on the day and bravery shown by all.

"PD Ivy acted to protect his police officer handler and members of the public with unwavering loyalty."

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