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Policeman banned over dog deaths

Former police dog handler Ian Craven has been banned from owning or keeping dogs for three years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs which died in his car during hot weather in June.

The 50-year-old, from Staines, was told by District Judge Daphne Wickham at Westminster Magistrates' Court: "I accept it has brought your illustrious career as a sergeant to an end, it may have damaged your wife's career and your reputation with all those around you, and that in itself is a punishment."

The charges related to an incident on June 26 in which a German Shepherd puppy and a Malinois-type dog died in a vehicle outside the Metropolitan Police dog training centre in Layhams Road, Keston, Kent.

The judge was told that Craven had been involved in a similar event in July 2004 when a young spaniel died in a vehicle.

Prosecutor Andrew Wiles said Craven underwent an internal investigation and pleaded guilty to offences detailed in the code of conduct for police officers and was reprimanded.

In the case before the court, both dogs were owned by the Metropolitan Police, and were potentially breeding dogs rather than working dogs, Mr Wiles said.

Craven was a sergeant employed by the Met, based at the dog training establishment in Keston. At about 7am on a Sunday he arrived there in his own private vehicle, with the dogs in the back in a plastic cage.

"The dogs were left in the vehicle, the windows were closed, there was no ventilation, no water left for the dogs, and the vehicle was locked."

While testing dogs working for a private security firm at the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London, a colleague advised another handler that he placed his dog in the shade, and Craven started swearing and running up the road, using his mobile phone, the court was told.

"He was pursued by his colleague, who said he appeared to be in a panic, he was pacing up and down, and heard to say 'I've killed my dogs'." He then told his colleague that he had left his dogs confined in the vehicle all morning.

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