Compensation has been awarded after an innocent man was attacked and bitten by a police dog.
Bill Gatenby was stood outside the Bird Inn pub in Washington when the incident happened. A fight between two other people had rolled out onto the street, but Mr Gatenby was just an innocent bystander.
A police dog – under the control of a police officer – attacked Mr Gatenby and bit him on the upper arm. The bite wound was that serious that he later needed 20 stitches to help treat it.
To add insult to injury, Mr Gatenby was then arrested for being drunk and disorderly. However, the case against him was thrown out at trial after CCTV footage emerged from the pub landlord. This footage confirmed that he was just an innocent bystander at the incident.
The CCTV footage had been given to police after the incident, but they had lost it. A spokesperson for Northumbria Police has confirmed to the Sunday Sun that the footage was “misplaced”.
Mr Gatenby tells the paper of his disgust at the actions of the police officers that arrested him. They allegedly laughed and joked about his serious injury, telling him that “the dog would not need feeding again today”. The dog handler is even caught on police station camera footage telling other officers that Mr Gatenby “turned on us”, causing the dog to bite.
The paper reports that Mr Gatenby sought compensation for his injuries after his innocence was proved. After a four year delay, the police settled the case just weeks before it was due in court. Mr Gatenby has now reportedly received a five figure payout and a written apology.