Wounding police dog charge denied

A 29-year-old Hornby man has denied a charge of wounding a police dog and will stay in custody pending a bail hearing next week.

Defence counsel Caitlin Gentleman said Joshua Luke Cooper elected to be tried by a judge-alone on the allegation that he stabbed four-year-old police dog Kosmo in an incident at Kaiapoi on May 31.

Cooper now also faces a charge of possession of an offensive weapon – a knife – on the same date as the incident.

Police said at the time that the dog received a 4cm cut to the throat, narrowly missing his carotid artery, while responding to a family harm incident. He received a blood transfusion from another police dog.

Cooper pleaded guilty to a theft of petrol charge, denied the charge of unlawfully wounding the police dog, and entered no pleas to the offensive weapon charge and some older charges including being in an enclosed yard, possession of a psychoactive substance, breaching the Medicines Act, and unlawfully getting into a vehicle.

Miss Gentleman applied for Cooper’s release on bail at a video-link appearance from the prison, after he had been remanded in custody since June 1.

Judge Brian Callaghan wanted further checks to be made before the application was considered and remanded Cooper in custody to next Monday. After that he will go to a case review hearing.

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