Man jailed for ordering dog to bite policeman

25-year-old sent to prison for five-and-a-half years after his pitbull attacks an officer in Paddington

A MAN who ordered his dog to attack a police officer in Paddington, leaving him with a deep bite wound in his arm, has been sent to prison for five-and-a-half years.

Ashley Gillard gave a command for his pitbull to bite PC Jim Russell at a property in St Michael’s Street after police officers had been called to reports of men fighting with their dogs nearby.

Gillard, 25, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and one count under the Dangerous Dogs Act after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Officers were called to an address in St Michael’s Street on September 1 last year following reports of dogs fighting in Bouverie Place where they found two people with a dog that was not believed to be dangerous.

A Metropolitan Police Service dog handler was called and while officers waited Gillard turned up with his pitbull.

PC Russell held the pitbull’s lead while the dog handler spoke to Gillard and, after being warned that the dog would be seized, Gillard gave a command to the pitbull prompting it to turn on the officer and bite him in the arm.

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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, later being admitted to hospital for a further five days and having to undergo an operation when the wound became infected.

Gillard, who was arrested at the scene, was charged the day after the incident and pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The dog was seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act and is currently being housed in police kennels.

Investigating officer, Det Con 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 on September 2 in connection with the initial dog fighting and they later pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court.