Police constable cleared of racist attack after his dog 'aggressively' attacked a Traveller 'without warning'

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Police Constable Paul Birch denied unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm to Andrew Cash while on duty in September 2017 (PA)

A police constable has been cleared of racially aggravated wounding after footage of his service dog biting a Traveller was released.

Police Constable Paul Birch, 50, denied unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm to Andrew Cash in September 2017.

Mr Cash, 37, told how he was left screaming and covered in blood after the policeman set his dog on him at a golf club “without warning”.


PC Birch and fellow officers were called to the former North Worcestershire Golf Course at Northfield, Birmingham, following reports of roof tiles being stolen.

The 50-year-old West Midlands Police officer allegedly called colleagues before the altercation and said “there are some gypos down here, we need back-up”.

Jurors were shown CCTV of the moment Mr Cash was bitten and heard he was taken to hospital after the incident.

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After the dog clamped on to Mr Cash’s knee, he was dragged along the ground for up to 12ft and required stitches following the incident.

But the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said that after a three-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court, a jury found PC Birch not guilty on Thursday.

The policing watchdog said the decision followed a successful application by PC Birch’s barrister that the prosecution had put forward insufficient evidence and there was no case to answer.

Mr Cash (pictured) was taken to hospital after PC Birch's police dog bit him (SWNS)

An IOPC spokesman said: “On completion of our investigation in May 2018 we sent a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge last October.

“We concluded that PC Birch had a case to answer for gross misconduct for excessive use of force.

“We await confirmation from West Midlands Police as to how they will proceed with the disciplinary matters.”.