Police dog Ghost dies after being hit by vehicle in intruder search

Con Dave Bartley with Ghost (right) and his second police dog Lucy Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption PC Dave Bartley and Ghost, pictured on the right, worked together on numerous jobs

A police dog run over by a vehicle while trying to track down intruders in St Helens has died.

Merseyside Police dog Ghost was searching for offenders who had entered premises in Southworth Road, Newton-le-Willows, in the early hours of Tuesday.

Police said the three-year-old German shepherd was found shortly afterwards on the M6 nearby with traumatic injuries after being hit by a vehicle.

His handler PC Dave Bartley was said by police to be "extremely upset".

'Prolific team'

Police said no vehicles stopped at the scene where Ghost was found.

Ghost had been a serving police dog for most of his three years and worked with PC Bartley on numerous jobs.

He recently helped apprehend a car thief in St Helens while off duty.

On one of the pair's last shifts together Ghost and PC Bartley found a man hiding in a wood after a report of an incident in Norris Green and also located a cash box stolen from a taxi driver.

Police said earlier this year they were called to an aggravated burglary in Mather Avenue, St Helens.

Ghost discovered a balaclava buried under a tree and the DNA on it led to the arrests of two men.

Ghost also located an occupant of a car which had been abandoned in Huyton following a police pursuit.

Insp Tony Byrne said he feared Ghost would have to be retired after suffering a lot of damage to his tail and a torsion in his stomach last year.

"It is rare for dogs to recover from things like this but he was big strong dog and came back from it."

He added: "Ghost and his handler were a prolific team and he was a much valued member of our team and will be sorely missed."

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