A man who ordered his dog to attack a police officer in north Westminster, leaving him with a deep bite wound in his arm, has been given a five and a half year custodial sentence at Southwark Crown Court.
Ashley Gillard, 25, of Gilbert House, Churchill Garden Estate was found guilty of one count of GBH and one count under the Dangerous Dogs Act after a trial at the Old Bailey.
On the evening of 1st September 2010 Police Constable Jim Russell and a colleague were called to an address in St Michael’s Street, Paddington, following reports of men fighting with their dogs in nearby Bouverie Place, W2.
The officers traced two of the people involved in the affray, a man and a woman, to a residential address in St Michael’s Street. A dog – not believed to be dangerous – was also found at the address and subsequently a Metropolitan Police Service dog handler was called. While the officers were at the address Ashley Gillard turned up with what the dog handler recognised to be a pitbull dog, the dog handler spoke to Gillard while PC Russell was holding the pitbull’s lead. After several minutes Gillard was told the dog would be seized and he gave the pitbull a command, the dog turned on PC Russell biting him deeply in the arm. Gillard was arrested at the scene and his dog was seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act
PC Russell was taken to a central London hospital where he received stitches for a deep bite wound to his arm. He was subsequently discharged and remained off work for several weeks. He was admitted to hospital for five days and underwent an operation when the wound became infected.
Gillard was charged the following day, 2nd September 2010, and later pleaded not guilty to both counts. He stood trial at the Old Bailey during March 2011 and after a five day trial a jury found him guilty of both offences.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jon Hill, said: “This dog was not just a pet, its owner had trained it to attack upon command. This incident left the officer out of action for several weeks and he had to return again to hospital, even undergoing surgery, as the wound was infected. This sentencing reflects the irresponsible and vicious nature of Gillard’s actions.”
Two men were arrested the following day in connection with the original affray, were subsequently charged and later pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court.