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Officer who left dogs to die in car found guilty

A police dog handler who left his two German Shepherds to die in the back of his sweltering car was yesterday handed a six-month conditional discharge after being found guilty of animal cruelty.

Pc Mark Johnson was also ordered to pay £2,500 towards the RSPCA's costs after he was convicted of unnecessarily confining his dogs “in an environment that was detrimental to their well-being”. But he was not disqualified from keeping animals and still looks after a black Labrador sniffer dog called Dash, which is trained to find explosives.

During his day-long trial, Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard Johnson arrived at work with 18-month-old Jay-Jay and Jet, seven, as well as Dash on June 30, one of the hottest days of last year.

He put Dash in the kennels and planned to move Jay-Jay and Jet into an air-conditioned police car.

But he got distracted and set about attending meetings and completing paperwork at Nottinghamshire Police's headquarters in Arnold, just north of the city.

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