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Monday, January 4, 1999 Published at 17:31 GMT


Dog cruelty officers sacked

Acer: His death horrified dog lovers

The BBC's Victoria Dale-Jones gives the background to the case
Two Essex police officers convicted of cruelty to police dogs have been dismissed from the force.

Sergeant Andrew White, 38, and Police Constable Kenneth Boorman, 45, who both face four months in jail if they lose their appeal next month, will leave the force immediately.

[ image: Kenneth Boorman: Four-month sentence]
Kenneth Boorman: Four-month sentence
PC Stephen Hopkins, 42, who was given 200 hours community service after the case, was reprimanded by Chief Constable David Stephens and banned from working with police dogs.

All three were convicted in December of kicking and punching dogs at the force training centre at Sandon in Essex.

White was head of training and Boorman an instructor at the unit where the court found five German Shepherd dogs were cruelly punished between September and December 1997.

[ image: All officers worked at the Sandon dog unit]
All officers worked at the Sandon dog unit
It was alleged during the three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court that dogs who misbehaved were swung around in the air by their leads "helicopter fashion".

Their choke chains were used to hang them from fences and posts as they were beaten.

The death of German Shepherd Acer, who was raised from a puppy by police, horrified dog lovers and caused untold damage to the image of all professional dog training centres.

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