Teenager struck police dog 20 times in machete attack as 'officer feared he'd kill it'

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·2-min read
Stark was attacked with a machete but expected to make a full recovery. (West Midlands Police)
Stark was attacked with a machete but expected to make a full recovery. (West Midlands Police)

A teenager has admitted causing serious injuries to a police dog after being accused of “wildly” hacking at it with a machete.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, struck out with more than 20 blows and left police dog Stark’s handler fearing the animal would be killed, Birmingham Youth Court heard on Tuesday.

The boy admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the three-year-old dog, who a prosecutor said was fortunate to survive, and possessing a machete in a public place.

The court was told that PC Paul Hopley and Stark were searching for suspected burglars in Handsworth, West Midlands, at 4am on 14 November.

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Stark suffered wounds to his face and narrowly avoided his eye being cut. (West Midlands Police)
Stark suffered wounds to his face and narrowly avoided his eye being cut. (West Midlands Police)
Police recovered the machete. (West Midlands Police)
Police recovered the machete. (West Midlands Police)

They were at an allotment site when the boy tried to run, and carried on doing so after PC Hopley identified himself as police, the court was told.

“The officer could see him repeatedly striking the dog with what he initially thought was a stick to his head and body,” Angela Hallam, prosecuting, said.

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“The male struck him in excess of 20 times and as the officer got closer he could see it was actually a machete.

“Despite being told numerous times to put the weapon down he continued to swing the machete wildly.”

Stark is expected to fully recover. (West Midlands Police)
Stark is expected to fully recover. (West Midlands Police)
PC Hopley and Stark encountered the teenager while searching an allotment. (West Midlands Police)
PC Hopley and Stark encountered the teenager while searching an allotment. (West Midlands Police)

The boy was tackled to the ground by PC Hopley, who worried the teenager would kill the dog.

Hallam said it “was only by good fortune that he escaped with the injuries”.

Stark, a German shepherd and Belgian Malinois cross, was operated on after being sedated and had wounds on both sides of its face stitched. One came close to his eye but the dog is expected to make a full recovery.

PC Hopley previously said: “When I saw the wounds so close to Stark’s eye I feared the worst. I thought he could have been blinded in that eye.”

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