Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 16:41 UK

Dog death Pc 'too ill' for court

Sherwood Lodge
The dogs died at the police headquarters at Sherwood Lodge

A police dog handler accused of leaving two of his German Shepherds to die in his car was "too ill" to attend his first court hearing in Nottingham.

Pc Mark Johnson faces one charge of causing unnecessary suffering after he allegedly left the police dogs in the back of his car on 30 June.

The 40-year-old did not attend the short hearing in Nottingham earlier.

The deaths happened on one of the hottest days of the year, when temperatures reached 29.3C (84.7F).

Dog championship

Mr Johnson was represented at Nottingham Magistrates' Court by his solicitor and a member of the Police Federation.

The defendant is accused of leaving his dogs, 10-year-old Jet and 18-month-old Jay-Jay, to die after he went in to Nottinghamshire Police's headquarters in Arnold.

The prosecution is being brought by the RSPCA, which accuses Mr Johnson of "unnecessarily confining them [his dogs] in an environment that was detrimental to their well-being".

It is understood that Jet came third at last year's National Police Dog Championship and Jay-Jay was being trained to replace the older dog.

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Police to face dog death charges
21 Jul 09 |  Nottinghamshire

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