Friday, 14 December 2018
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Police dog that killed gran in her own kitchen was sold to force after biting TEN people including one in the face

A POLICE dog that savaged a frail gran to death in her kitchen had bitten ten other people and a dog, a coroner’s jury heard.

Cleveland Police said they had no idea of the previous attacks – including one a Crystal Palace fan who was mauled in the face – when they bought it for £500 from another dog unit.

 Frail gran Irene Collins died after being savaged by a police dog

PA:Press Association

Frail gran Irene Collins died after being savaged by a police dog

Dano the seven-stone German Shepherd repeatedly bit frail cancer patient Irene Collins, 73, as cops chasing a drug dealer searched her garden. She died four days later in July 2014.

It was Dano’s first search with its new handler PC Mark Baines, who said the animal was in “fight mode” when he slipped his collar and returned to maul the gran a third time after being called off.

Details of the previous attacks when it was with Thames Valley and Hampsire police were read out at her inquest yesterday.

They included biting the face of a man during football disorder at Reading railway station and another in which Dano leapt from a police van without a lead to attack another dog.

 PC Mark Baines said Dano was 'in fight mode' when he mauled the householder

North News and Pictures

PC Mark Baines said Dano was ‘in fight mode’ when he mauled the householder

Dog handler PC Mark Robson, now retired, bought Dano for Cleveland Police and said he was told the animal had an “excellent temperament”.

He said he was not told of the previous incidents, adding: “The bite to the face and the bite to the other dog – they would cause me concern.

“Ideally a dog would bite an upper limb not a leg and that may cause me concern.

“If we had known about the bite to the face we may never have even gone to view the dog in the first place.

“When I asked if there was anything to be concerned about I would have expected the force to tell me.”

He said paperwork that would have revealed the previous attacks was not checked and it was policy to “trust” another force to tell them of any issues.

 Flowers at the door of Irene Collins' home in Middlesbrough

Evening Gazette

Flowers at the door of Irene Collins’ home in Middlesbrough
 Cleveland Police officers were searching gardens for a drug dealer when German Shepherd Dano went for the pensioner

Evening Gazette

Cleveland Police officers were searching gardens for a drug dealer when German Shepherd Dano went for the pensioner

The policy has changed since Mrs Collins’s death and Cleveland Police now asks for all records when acquiring a new dog.

The pensioner, who had lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, allowed police to search her garden after a fugitive was spotted jumping fences in Middlesbrough, North Yorks.

Mrs Collins screamed “Why is this happening to me?” as Dano ran into the kitchen and bit her, then mauled her a second time as she stumbled and fell towards PC Baines, the inquest was told.

The handler said he pulled the dog off her, but it backed out of its collar and ran back to bite her on the leg as colleague Sgt Neil Yates was giving first aid.

PC Baines said Dano was “still in prey drive at that point” as he restrained him in the hall before the third bite. He explained that meant he was “still in fight mode”.

The coroner, Karin Welsh, said: “To be frank what I am struggling with is this third bite. You are his handler – you pulled him away and he is still not doing what you wanted.”

PC Baines told the hearing Dano was following his training, adding: “He was told to out from the bites and he outed from the bites.”

The hearing in Middlesbrough continues.

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