A dog handler has appeared in court charged with dangerous driving following a crash that led to the death of his Labrador.
The crash happened on the A90 Aberdeen to Peterhead road, near Hatton, in February 2017.
George Shearer, a former police constable, was on-duty with his two dogs when his van collided with a blue Vauxhall Astra near the Auchiries crossroads.
The 47-year-old suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
A second man – a Ministry of Defence Police officer stationed at St Fergus Gas Terminal – was also taken to hospital.
But in the days afterwards, Shearer’s nine-year-old dog Sam had to be put down following surgery complications.
Yesterday, the 48-year-old appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of causing serious injury by driving dangerously, being in possession of drugs and being concerned in the supply of drugs.
He is also facing a theft charge.
Shearer, whose address was given in court papers as Aberdeen, made no plea or declaration during the brief private hearing, and was released on bail.
When Sam the black Labrador died, he was described as “a much-loved and valued member of the Police Scotland family”.
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Superintendent Steven Irvine, of the police’s specialist operations unit, described the decision to put him down as “extremely difficult”.
He said: “As a force we care a great deal about our dogs and although it was an extremely difficult decision to make, it was agreed with heavy hearts that this was the best course of action for Sam.
“Sam was a much-loved and valued member of the Police Scotland family, as is the case with all our dogs, and he will be sorely missed.
“We are extremely proud of the fantastic crime fighter Sam had became, and will always be grateful to him for the loyalty he showed his handler and the force.”
Shearer will appear again in court at a later date.
It is understood he is no longer serving as a police officer.