No penalty for El-Amir Abdul Hamid El-Ayoubi over hitting police dog
PETER BODKIN AND SIMON BLACK
The Daily Telegraph
April 11, 2013 12:00AM
HE admitted clubbing a police dog on the head with a stick during last year's Muslim riots.
But a Sydney magistrate yesterday threw out all charges against El-Amir Abdul Hamid El-Ayoubi, ruling he could have been acting in self-defence when he hit german shepherd Manchu.
He was accused of animal cruelty and spitting on the dog's handler, Senior-Constable Alex Seivl, during the September riot in Sydney's CBD.
Yesterday the Downing Centre Local Court was told the 20-year-old electrician was "afraid" after seeing dogs "let loose" on other protesters.
He grabbed a 20cm stick from the ground as rioters flung bottles and other missiles at police, who were standing in front of him with their dogs.
Senior-Constable Seivl said El-Ayoubi had spat on his chest from about 3m away - then came at him with the stick "screaming out in another language".
He said El-Ayoubi started beating Manchu with the stick before the dog grabbed his leg and the officer managed to tackle him to the ground.
Sen-Constable Seivl said El-Ayoubi looked "extremely angry" when he picked up the stick and started waving it at him before the attack.
El-Ayoubi denied ever spitting on the policeman but admitted he hit the dog twice on the head "out of raw emotion" after it grabbed him.
"No matter who it is, they're going to go for a strike to the head (to try) to get the canine off him," he told police.
Magistrate Elizabeth Ryan said she accepted El-Ayoubi had spat during the incident and said his wielding of the stick was "not the wisest course".
But she said there were no witnesses who backed Senior-Constable Seivl's claims of being hit with saliva and she was not convinced El-Ayoubi had lashed out before the dog bit him.
El-Ayoubi told police some young men involved in the riots had "testosterone coming out of the heads" but described himself as a "minor cripple" due to a knee reconstruction.
"The whole time I was just sitting back ... just being a part of the Islamic part of it, not the violent part of it," El-Ayoubi said.
Several men were arrested after the riots, which began as a protest against a YouTube clip posted overseas that mocked Islam.
Speaking after yesterday's decision, El-Ayoubi's lawyer Paul McGirr said his client was "very, very relieved" at the magistrate's ruling.
"He's a good boy and he's never been in trouble before," he said.
"His sister came to support him in court. He lost his father a few years ago and he's the man of the house.
"The decision meant a lot to them."