Teen sentenced for machete attack on police dog Stark

A boy has been sentenced for attacking our police dog Stark with a machete.

The 17-year-old - who is too young for us to legally name - appeared in Birmingham Youth Court today (19 February) where he was sentenced to an 8 month detention training order for possessing a bladed weapon and causing unnecessary suffering to a service animal.

He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation for the distress he caused to PC Hopley and PD Stark.

Stark was on the trail of suspected burglars in Handsworth at 4am on 14 November when the teen emerged from his allotment hiding place with a machete.

The court heard how PC Hopley told the 17-year-old - several times to put the weapon down but he continued to “swing the machete wildly".

He rugby tackled the knifeman to the floor and Stark helped detain him in the allotments off Larch Avenue. The boy was arrested and charged days later after he’d received treatment for dog bites.

The court heard how the teenager struck three-year-old Stark up to 20 times with a rusty machete and that handler PC Paul Hopley feared the worst for his courageous sidekick.

Stark suffered nasty cuts to his face, with one blow narrowly missing an eye, but thankfully he’s made a full recovery and his policing career is flourishing.

PC Hopley and PD Stark

On his first night shift back at work, Stark got back into full work mode, locating a wanted person who had tried to hide from officers on a flat roof, but he couldn’t outwit Stark.

The three-year-old German Shepherd / Belgian Malinois cross has now passed his firearms support dog course with flying colours and is enjoying his role supporting the firearms unit.

PC Paul Hopley said: “Hopefully today’s sentence sends out a clear message that it is completely unacceptable to attack a service animal.

“Although Stark appears to have made a full recovery, this is very much down to luck and he was extremely fortunate that his injuries were not more severe following the attack on him that morning."

As a service animal Finns Law provided Stark with a degree of protection. You can read more about Finns Law, how they help and support service animals here.

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