Man appears in court after dog attack

Albert Square in Newham. Photo: ITN

A 25 year-old man has appeared in court charged with possessing a dangerous dog and allowing it to go out of control after five police officers were hospitalised when they were attacked by a pitbull-type animal yesterday.

Three of the officers remained in hospital overnight after they were mauled by the dog as they were carrying out a raid yesterday morning in Albert Square in Newham. Two of them require skin grafts and plastic surgery.

Symieon Robinson Pierre appeared at Thames Magistrates Court today to face the charges and was remanded into custody. He is also accused of committing grievous bodily harm with intent and kidnapping a man on the 14th of March. The dog was shot dead at the scene by a marksman from the Metropolitan Police's CO19 firearms unit.

Gun pellets left at the scene. Credit: ITN

Scotland Yard admitted it failed to pick up on intelligence that the animal lived at the property in Albert Square in Newham before they stormed the address. Commander Stephen Watson, commander for north east London, said: "This allegation was not picked up in the intelligence assessment prior to today's operation, and this now forms part of my review of today's events."

The 9am swoop was part of Operation Big Wing, a major Scotland Yard purge on wanted suspects across the capital. The 48-hour operation saw hundreds of officers carrying out searches for people wanted by police or who had failed to appear at court. A total of 1,619 "visits" were made across London, the force said.

Mr Watson added: "I think what our officers have confronted is the bravery that they very often display in protecting Londoners on a daily basis."