A violent thug who pulled at a police dog’s mouth and grabbed her throat in Colchester, Essex, has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Niall Martin, 29, of Stalin Road, Colchester, appeared before magistrates at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 23rd January.
He admitted the cruel acts and was sentenced to ten weeks in prison with the sentence being suspended for 12 months (meaning that he won’t serve any time unless he breaks the law again).
Martin was also ordered to pay £300 in court costs a £115 victim surcharge and just £50 compensation.
He was also told to complete a 19-day programme requirement and a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He also received a £150 fine for breaching a domestic violence protection order but received no separate penalty for having cannabis.
The court heard how on 22nd January 2019, Essex Police received reports of a domestic incident in Blackthorne Avenue.
PD’ Ivy’ and her handler, PC Sophie Chesters, responded to the call for help at around 2230 hours.
Martin ran from the scene but was caught by PC ‘Ivy’ as he tried to scale a fence. As he was being detained, he managed to break free only to be found again by PD’ Ivy’.
The brave police dog was then attacked by Martin, who forced open her mouth with such force that she yelped out in pain. But the time PC Chesters reached the pair, Martin had his hands around her throat.
PC Chesters, accompanied by two special constables, arrested Martin, who was also found to have 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.
“Despite her ordeal, Ivy remains a well-balanced and sociable dog. 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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