Saturday, October 18, 2008

Man assaulted and fined £500 for defending son from police dog attack

Cliff Auger is a life long Chelsea supporter who back in January he took his sons, aged 13 and 16, and two of their friends to the Chelsea v QPR FA Cup tie in January. He’s not a hooligan, he’s not a troublemaker, just a normal bloke taking his lads to the match.

After the game Cliff’s life turned upside down as his son was attacked by a police dog and in the course of defending his child, Cliff was assaulted by police officers, and left with four broken ribs and a punctured lung. Oh, and a ridiculous charge that would also leave him with a £500 fine and criminal record.

On their way back to the car, the game having ended in a narrow 1-0 win for Chelsea, one of his son’s friends went into a pub to use the toilet. The premises were then 'locked down' by the police - no one could enter or leave.

Cliff approached the police and asked if the boy could be allowed to leave the pub as he was responsible for the welfare of not only his sons, but their mates as well.

Due to earlier events, tensions had been running high but by the time Cliff and his party arrived in the area it had calmed down. Unfortunately this did not stop the dog handlers approaching Cliff – a German Shepherd was released by police and bit Cliff's older son on his calf.

Hearing his son’s cry of pain, Cliff's immediate and instinctive reaction was to kick the dog - just once - to release its grip, this worked as the dog then turned to bite Cliff. Any parent would surely do the same?

At this point, Cliff was bundled to the ground by several officers - two of them openly admit to striking him with their fists and a baton. Cliff had curled up to protect himself and this was their way of releasing his hands to cuff him.

Cliff was taken to the police station and charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. After complaining that he had sustained numerous injuries he was eventually taken to hospital where he was told he had four broken ribs and a punctured lung. Cliff remained in hospital for four days, and subsequently missed six weeks’ work.

Cliff's case was heard earlier this week at the West London Courthouse by a district judge. The dog handler claimed the boy was a threat to him, not the dog. There was contradictory evidence in court from the police. One claimed the boy approached with hands raised, another claimed the boy approached with fists clenched by his side. The dog handler said the dog was on a short lead, whereas another said it was released to the full length.

After a two day trial the judge found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. The vet used in the case diagnosed that the animal might have suffered more than five minutes pain, despite never having seen the dog.

The judge advised that he was unable to give Cliff a conditional discharge as he should have waited to let the handler release the dog’s grip. In short, Cliff should have stood and watched while an animal attacked his son.

The court fined Cliff £500 while the police left him with four broken ribs and a punctured lung. We believe this verdict sends out the ridiculous message that a father does not have the right to protect his own child.

Cliff is now pursuing a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite sickening, but just what you would expect from these sorts, whos powers need curbed.

Its high time the police became answerable for thier excessive force, abuse of powers, and creating false convictions

Mon Feb 02, 02:41:00 pm GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not only high time they become answerable, but also high time that these corrupt public servants were treated to a decent stretch in a prison cell.

Wed Feb 25, 01:44:00 pm GMT  

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