Man remanded over police dog attack
A musician has appeared in court charged under the Dangerous Dogs Act after five officers were mauled during a raid.
Symieon Robinson Pierre, 25, appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court accused of "allowing the dog to be dangerously out of control" outside his home in Albert Square, Newham, east London.
Metropolitan Police officers Pc Bush, Pc Merritt, Pc Corderoy and Dc Fray were among those injured in the attack. They were only referred to by their surnames in court. Three officers remain in hospital after being savaged by the pitbull. Two are awaiting surgery and one is in theatre, the court heard. At least two need skin grafts and plastic surgery, prosecutor Sabrina Samaroo said.
Robinson Pierre faced four charges, including possession of a pitbull dog, contrary to Section 1 of the Act. The second allegation states that he allowed his dog to be dangerously out of control in injuring five people. He also appeared in custody accused of kidnapping and grievous bodily harm with intent, relating to an incident on March 14 in Newham.
All five officers needed treatment for leg and hand wounds after Thursday's assault as they carried out a raid. The three who were kept in hospital overnight are in a stable condition.
Robinson Pierre, dressed in a black jacket and white tracksuit bottoms, spoke only to confirm his name, address, date of birth and the fact he would not be indicating a plea during the short hearing.
Scotland Yard admitted that it failed to pick up on intelligence that the animal lived at the property in Albert Square before they stormed the address. The dog was shot dead at the scene by a marksman from the Metropolitan Police's CO19 firearms unit. The 9am swoop was part of Operation Big Wing, a major Scotland Yard purge on wanted suspects across the capital. The 48-hour operation saw hundreds of officers carrying out searches for people wanted by police or who had failed to appear at court.
Theresa Gerald, defending, said her client lived with his mother and younger brother at the Albert Square address and works as a "music artist", who undertakes events in schools and youth centres to promote positive behaviour among young people.
Dog bite incidents in the UK have risen 79% in London and 43% nationally in recent years, according to figures obtained by the Kennel Club.
Robinson Pierre, who walked out of the dock before District Judge William Ashworth had finished speaking, was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the same court on March 30 and Inner London Crown Court on May 18.