Trial In Birmingham After A Traveller Was Bit By A Police Dog

29 July 2019, 18:25 | Updated: 29 July 2019, 18:28

Birmingham Crown Court

A West Midlands Police Constable denies racially aggravated wounding.

A police officer's dog bit a Traveller moments after calling colleagues to say "there are some gypos down here, we need back-up", a court has heard.

West Midlands Police Constable Paul Birch is alleged to have unlawfully and maliciously caused grievous bodily harm to Andrew Cash on September 4 last year in a racially aggravated attack.

Birmingham Crown Court was told that the 50-year-old and fellow officers were called to the former North Worcestershire Golf Course at Northfield, Birmingham, after reports of roof tiles being stolen.

Jurors were shown CCTV of the moment Mr Cash was bitten, and heard he was taken to hospital after the incident.

Opening the case against the officer on Monday, prosecutor Michael Shaw said: "Birch guided the dog forward and the dog bit (Andrew) Cash on his leg.

"Birch pulled the leash, the dog and Mr Cash for three or four metres behind the caravan to release the dog. That is unlawful or malicious wounding, we say."

Addressing the racially aggravated part of the charge, Mr Shaw said: "Birch had used the word 'gypo' before attending the scene.

"He said, 'There are some gypos down here, we need back-up'.

"It is the prosecution's case that this was a racially inflamed comment."

Birch, of Birmingham, denies racially aggravated wounding.

The trial continues.