A man who pulled at a police dog’s mouth and grabbed her throat in  Colchester has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal

A man who pulled at a police dog’s mouth and grabbed her throat in Colchester has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Niall Martin, 29, of Stalin Road, Colchester, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 23 January where he admitted the offence 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.

On 22 January 2019, we received reports of a domestic incident in Blackthorne Avenue and Police Dog Ivy and her handler, PC Sophie Chesters, attended the scene at around 10.30pm.

Martin was seen running off and was caught climbing a fence by PD Ivy.
While he was being arrested, Martin managed to escape and ran off but was caught again by PD Ivy.

PD Ivy was then attacked by Martin who forced her mouth open, causing her to scream, and he was found by PC Chesters with his hands around her throat.
PC Chesters and two Special Constables arrested him and we found he was in possession of cannabis.

She 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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