Pit bull owner is cleared of GBH
A MAN accused of setting a pit bull terrier on a police officer has been cleared of causing her grievous bodily harm with intent.
A jury also found Kevin Sheppard not guilty of unlawfully wounding PC Gemma Pinkard at his home in Derwent Road, Speedwell, during an incident in November last year.
The 48-year-old had denied both charges but admitted possessing a fighting dog, and Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC yesterday fined him £300, told him to pay £100 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge in relation to that offence.
Sheppard had been accused of deliberately setting the banned dog, named Koda, on PC Pinkard by opening the door of a room where it had been confined after attacking another officer minutes earlier.
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PC Pinkard suffered lacerations and deep puncture wounds to her thigh and both calf muscles from the dog. Her colleague, PC David Hawkins, received seven deep puncture wounds to his calf in the earlier incident, which did not form part of the charges.
The prosecution claimed that Sheppard had been upset that police had arrived to take his son back to prison and, knowing what had already happened to PC Hawkins, he had deliberately opened the door to his lounge to unleash the dog on PC Pinkard. Other officers saw him sitting in a chair doing nothing during the attack, it was claimed.
But he told the Bristol Crown Court jury: "It's sick to think that I would do something like that."
Sheppard said PC Pinkard had forced her way into his lounge and he had been "gobsmacked" when the dog attacked her as it had never behaved in that way before.
Sheppard said he had prised the dog off both officers.
"It was bad enough seeing a man get bitten," he said. "To sit and watch a woman get torn apart like that, well, I just wouldn't do it – it's disgusting."
The dog has been destroyed.