A male has been sentenced for striking a police dog with a machete during a fierce attack against the animal.
The 17-year-old male, who cannot be named owing to his age – appeared at Birmingham Youth Court on 19th February charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a service animal and possessing a bladed weapon.
He was sentenced to an 8-month detention training order and was ordered to pay £100 compensation for the distress and injuries he caused to Police Dog ‘Stark’ and his handler, PC Hopley.
The male will spend half of the eight-month sentence in custody and a Youth Offending Team will supervise the other half out in the community.
Stark was on the trail of suspected burglars in Handsworth at 4 am on 14 November when the male emerged from his allotment hiding place with a machete.
The court heard how PC Hopley told the 17-year-old to put the weapon down several times, but he continued to “swing the machete wildly”.
He rugby tackled the knifeman to the floor, and Stark helped detain him in the allotments off Larch Avenue.
The boy was arrested and charged days later after he’d received treatment in hospital for several serious dog bites.
The court heard how the teenager struck three-year-old Stark up to 20 times with a rusty machete, and that handler PC Paul Hopley feared the worst for his courageous sidekick.
Stark suffered nasty cuts to his face, with one blow narrowly missing an eye, but thankfully he’s made a full recovery.
On his first night shift back at work, Stark got back into full work mode, locating a wanted person who had tried to hide from officers on a flat roof, but he couldn’t outwit Stark.
The three-year-old German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois cross has now passed his firearms support dog course with flying colours.
PC Paul Hopley said:
“Hopefully, today’s sentence sends out a clear message that it is completely unacceptable to attack a service animal.
“Although Stark appears to have made a full recovery, this is very much down to luck and he was extremely fortunate that his injuries were not more severe following the attack on him that morning.”
As a service animal Finns Law provided Stark with a degree of protection.
You can read more about Finns Law, how they help and support service animals here.
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