Stoke & Staffordshire

Man charged under new law over police dog stabbing in Hanley

Audi with his handler Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Police dog Audi with his handler

A man has been charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a police dog under new legislation in the UK.

Audi suffered a stab wound to his head in the Hanley area of Stoke-on-Trent at 14:15 BST on Monday.

Dan O'Sullivan, 29, is the first person to be charged under the Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019 since Finns Law was introduced, police said.

Mr O'Sullivan was due to appear at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates' Court earlier.

Mr O'Sullivan, who is from the Litherland area of Liverpool, has been charged with five counts of assaulting police officers, causing unnecessary suffering to an emergency service animal, possession of offensive weapons and affray.

Det Insp Stephen Ward said Audi was "recovering" and that "his injuries seem to be soft tissue-related and he is likely to be out of action for a short time."

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