A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) firearms officer has been dismissed after admitting to an animal cruelty offence.
Police Sergeant Martin Dunn, an Authorised Firearms Officer who served in GMP’s Specialist Operations Branch, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to an animal at Leeds Magistrates’ Court in April 2021.
Dunn, who was responsible for patrolling Manchester Airport was caught on camera punching his five-month-old Springer Spaniel multiple times after the puppy had defecated in the house.
The horrifying footage, which captured Dunn screaming “you little b*d” at the pup before launching a barrage of blows, was shared online and reported to the police.
In response to his actions, Sgt Dunn received a sentence that included a community order requiring 120 hours of unpaid work and a ban from keeping animals for five years.
He had been on restricted duties since the incident was reported and investigated by West Yorkshire Police.
Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, Head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, emphasised the high standards expected of officers both on and off duty, stating that Dunn’s actions fell far short of these expectations.
He added that the vast majority of officers and staff serve the public to the highest standard and demonstrate exemplary behaviour in their private lives.
Paul Forster, the chairman of the independent panel, asserted that the decision to dismiss Dunn without notice was made to maintain public confidence in the police service.
Dunn’s defence claimed that the incident was isolated, with Dunn ‘unreservedly accepting the allegations’.
A probation officer revealed that Dunn had been involved in the events at Manchester Arena in 2017 and has been suffering from PTSD “without realising it.”
Sarah Barlow, defending, explained that several stress factors contributed to Dunn’s behaviour that evening.
She added that police officers often do not seek counselling for fear of how it will affect their reputation.
In addition to the 12-month community order, Dunn was ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a surcharge of £95 within 28 days.
The fate of the puppy, Frank, remains uncertain due to a dispute over its ownership.
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