Review of the year 2017: June
PUBLISHED: 10:25 26 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:31 28 December 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2016
A 16-year-old boy who stabbed a police dog and assaulted an officer was sentenced in June to four months in a detention centre.
German shepherd Finn and PC Dave Wardell had been chasing the boy through a back garden when he stabbed the dog in the chest and cut the police officer’s hand.
Finn, who PC Wardell says saved his life, required emergency surgery and has since retired from duty.
The attacker was guilty of possession of a 12-inch combat knife and an imitation firearm, causing criminal damage by stabbing Finn and assaulting PC Wardell.
After the stabbing, campaigners called on the Government to change the law so that harming service animals is not considered ‘criminal damage’, and enable harsher penalties to be imposed. The cause, named Finn’s Law, continues.
Bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion in Stevenage’s Hydean Way after a suspected Second World War hand grenade was found in a shed.
Police were called and a specialist explosive ordnance disposal unit took the device to Fairlands Valley Park, where a controlled explosion was carried out.
A former policeman underwent gender reassignment surgery to start a new life as a woman, believing she was born in the wrong body.
Samantha Wood, who lives in Stevenage, began her life as Richard but was deeply unhappy living as a boy. She tried for many years to suppress her urge to be female, choosing a career as a riot police officer in London and going regularly to the gym to lift weights in a bid to be macho.
The 43-year-old, who has three children, was so unhappy she took an overdose. That was the turning point in her life and she decided to embrace who she really is.
She explained: “Surgery was not a choice. I was born in the wrong body and I have been through hell.”