Rossi the Nottinghamshire Police dog disarmed axeman

Rossi the dog The axe was considerably heavy, weighing 2.7kg while Rossi weighs 32kg

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A man who drunkenly brandished an axe and threatened to hurt a police dog has been jailed.

Rossi the dog jumped 8ft (2.4m) and grabbed the axe from Adrian Dowdall, then dropped the axe and held his arm to stop him getting away.

The Belgian Shepherd is not trained to disarm but his handler thinks he could have mistaken the axe for a toy.

Dowdall, 36, of Bentinck Close, Boughton, Nottinghamshire, has been jailed for 160 days.

He pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to having a bladed article in a public place.

Rossi's handler, PC Matt Rogers, said: "When I deployed him I expected him to get hold of the man.

Rossi the police dog

PC Matt Rogers and Rossi
  • PC Matt Rogers has had Rossi since he was a puppy.
  • He is a Belgian Shepherd crossed with a Malinois.
  • Now seven years old, Rossi is due to retire in September.
  • Judge Michael Stokes QC praised Rossi's bravery at an earlier hearing court hearing.
  • However, PC Rogers said he was "a little bit miffed" from a dog handling point of view.
  • "I think he thought it was a toy or something like that," he said. "He obviously didn't perceive it as much of a threat himself."

"He's not trained to disarm, he's just trained to go and detain him.

"I don't know what goes off sometimes in his head."

PC Rogers was patrolling on 24 November when he was asked to attend Bentinck Close, in Boughton, at about 05:15 GMT.

The court heard Dowdall had drunk between 10 and 15 cans of lager at a friend's house the previous afternoon.

'Threatening manner'

He remembered being assaulted at the party and going home, the court heard.

He fetched the axe from his home but said he could not remember making any threats.

PC Rogers said: "I saw a figure about 80 yards away in the street. He was shouting.

"He had something in his hand and as I am watching him I could tell it was an axe.

"He continued to move up the road in my direction.

"I identified myself as a police officer and challenged him to drop the axe.

"He made threats to harm the dog. He kept coming towards me and held it aloft in his right hand in a threatening manner."

PC Rogers then deployed Rossi.

"The dog has leapt up, taken hold of the axe, spat the axe out and detained the male... got hold of him by his left arm," he said.

"I've then joined him. We had a bit of a roll around on the floor, with me and the dog. He is resisting arrest, and eventually I've managed to handcuff him."

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