Police dog victim denies eight offences

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse. - Credit: Archant

A WESTON man who was bitten by a police dog in what witnesses described as a ‘horrifying’ attack has appeared in court to deny eight offences including criminal damage and assault.

Jonathan Para, aged 28, was on a night out in the town with friends on May 5 when the incident occurred, and admits he had been drinking.

Witnesses to Para’s arrest captured mobile phone footage of him being bitten by a police dog, prompting Avon and Somerset Constabulary to launch an investigation into the handling of the dog.

Defence solicitor Sam Stevens said: “He did receive an injury. You may have seen on the TV recently a man who is bitten by a police dog – this is my client.

“The police officer says he deployed the dog but I think it’s clear from the footage the dog is not deployed – it is out of control.

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“He was taken to hospital locally and then transferred to Frenchay for treatment. He had several operations as a consequence.

“All this happened prior to him being arrested – I’m not sure why it went this far where he ended up on the floor, bit by a dog and had a taser pointed at him.”

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Para, who lives in Bristol Road Lower, pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing at North Somerset Courthouse on Tuesday.

He has been charged with two counts of assault by beating and two counts of criminal damage after being accused of destroying the wing mirrors of nearby cars.

He is also accused of assaulting a constable and a special constable, using threatening or abusive behaviour towards A&E staff and assaulting a hospital care assistant by spitting on her.

Mr Blackmore, prosecuting, claims Para was threatening nurses and two assisting police officers while handcuffed to a hospital bed.

Para - who has no previous convictions - has denied all the allegations.

The case has been adjourned for trial on November 17 and 19 at North Somerset Courthouse. Para has been released on unconditional bail.

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