'Irresponsible' owner of American Bully that savaged police horse in east London park convicted of dog offences

29 September 2023, 11:12 | Updated: 29 September 2023, 11:22

A police horse was attacked by a dog in Victoria Park
A police horse was attacked by a dog in Victoria Park. Picture: Social media/Met Taskforce

By Kit Heren

The owner of an American Bully dog that mauled a police horse in an east London park earlier this year has been convicted.

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Hakan Niyazi Candermir, 25, of Bow in east London, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control on Thursday at Willesden Magistrates' Court.

His dog had been filmed savaging PH Urbane, a Met police horse, in Victoria Park in March. Police said that Candermir did nothing to help.

Shocking footage shows the moment the dog attacked Urbane, biting on to its legs as the horse stumbled about.

The animal can be seen repeatedly attacking the horse under its belly as the steed panics and onlookers rush to intervene.

One man is shown trying to get the dog away by shunting it with a big branch as other bystanders look on.

Eventually the dog - an American Bully, Coco - is brought under control but the horse is visibly upset, with its police rider forced to dismount.

Superintendent Martin Kirby, from the Met’s Taskforce, said after Candemar's conviction: "This very shocking event could have been easily avoided if the dog was being responsibly looked after and was on a lead.

“Instead, Urbane was bitten by an out of control dog, receiving nasty injuries including tears and lacerations, while carrying out his duty."

A member of the public was able to get hold of the dog, while Candermir did nothing to help. After the dog was moved away, he put it back on the lead.

Candermir will be sentenced at a later date at the same court.

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The horse suffered eight lacerations from the bites and needed stitches to his torso and legs after receiving wounds to his front legs, chest and under belly.

The stricken steed several months recuperating before going back to stables in Bow.

The attack came mere months after PH Urbane's partner, PH Sandown died policing the Notting Hill Carnival.

The dog attacked the horse in Victoria Park
The dog attacked the horse in Victoria Park. Picture: Alamy

Superintendent Kirby continued: "Urbane had to take several months off duty to recover from his injuries but thankfully he’s now fully recovered and back patrolling the streets of London.

"He is generally very comfortable around dogs and we were particularly worried that this attack would affect the way he interacts with other animals. Happily, he’s just as relaxed with dogs as he’s always been.”

"Whilst there continues to be noteworthy and sometimes tragic cases of dogs dangerously out of control in public I'm pleased to say that the majority of dog owners are responsible. This case illustrates why always having control of your dog is so important.

"I would also praise the calm actions of PS Mann who was riding PH Urbane who dealt with a difficult situation with professionalism and fortitude."

PH Urbane (r) was attacked by the dog. He previously lost PH Sandown (l) after the horse died at Notting Hill Carnival
PH Urbane (r) was attacked by the dog. He previously lost PH Sandown (l) after the horse died at Notting Hill Carnival. Picture: Metropolitan Police

A witness told The Sun at the time: "Eventually there's one brave witness who grabbed the dog but then the owner takes his time to go over and put the dog on the lead.

"I was apologetic that I couldn't do anything but I was keeping my own dog on the lead and under control."

The attack came months after PH Sandown, a horse that has partnered with PH Urbane, died policing the Notting Hill Carnival.

The chestnut gelding, 14, was described as one of the most experienced horses in the Met.

It collapsed policing the carnival in August last year.