Drunk suspended police dog at chest height

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
Share this article

A police dog was hanged by her neck after a man seized hold of her as her handler tried to stop a punch-up and make an arrest, a court heard.

Daniel Tiplady (29) suspended the Belgian Malinois bitch, named Nouchka, at chest height after "yanking" her off a fighting man by her collar handle from behind.

He then dragged her "violently" backwards into a main road on her hind legs, causing the officer to fear she would be hurled into the carriageway, Burnley magistrates were told.

The court heard "drunk" Tiplady had waded in and inflicted pain on the dog, which is trained in public order situations, as two men were having a punch-up near Ighten Leigh Social Club, Burnley, last December 23rd.

Lancashire Police dog handler PC Mark Coulton, a lone officer sent to Padiham Road after reports of at least 10 men involved in a brawl, had deployed the 26-kilo shepherd dog after he separated the two men, but they started battling again.

Tiplady had appeared and gone "straight for the dog" after it had taken hold of one of the pair with a clothing bite on the thigh.

PC Coulton, a handler for four-and-half years and dog legislation officer, told the hearing he managed to get his hands on Nouchka's collar and shouted: "Let go of my dog, let go of my dog."

Tiplady didn't and the officer used a "distraction strike" to his face to get him to release her.

The officer told the court that Nouchka had had a "glare" in her eyes as Tiplady pulled her away from him.

He said: "That completely caught her off-guard. My fear was that he was going to throw her into the carriageway."

Vet Dr Sean Taylor, who has appeared on Channel 5's The Dog Rescuers, told the court: "In my opinion the animal would have suffered some degree of pain."

Nouchka was able to continue her job after the incident.

The hearing was told Tiplady fully accepted he grabbed Nouchka's collar, but claimed he did it to "assist" the officer. He alleged the animal had been "savaging" his mate and denied the dog was lifted to chest height.

Tiplady of Maden Fold Close, Burnley, denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and obstructing PC Coulton, during a two-day trial.

He was convicted by the magistrates of both counts and given a 12-month conditional discharge on each. The defendant had no previous convictions.