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UK News

Tory MP fined after his puppy caused deer stampede in London park

today07/06/2021

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A Conservative MP has been fined after his puppy caused a stampede of deer by chasing a 200-strong herd in London.

Danny Kruger, a former speechwriter for David Cameron, admitted losing control of his dog in Richmond Park – home to around 300 red deer and 300 fallow deer.

Kruger, 46, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to causing or permitting an animal to chase or worry another animal in a royal park.

Prosecutor Dominic Hockley said Kruger’s 11-month-old white Jack Russell dog, Pebble, chased a large herd of fallow deer in March.

“It’s been said it only takes one pebble to start an avalanche. In this case it only took one Pebble to start a stampede,” Mr Hockley said.

Danny Kruger pictured leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court in London
Image: Danny Kruger MP pictured leaving Westminster Magistrates’ Court

The court heard Kruger, who lives in Hammersmith, west London, had been on a long walk with his wife and three children on 20 March, when PC Samantha Riggs spotted his dog running across the road towards a herd.

Mr Hockley said the animals, many of which were pregnant, were left in a “panicked state”, while PC Riggs called out for the owner, who was “at that point nowhere to be seen”, to control the canine.

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Volunteer ranger Duncan MacCallum said he asked Kruger to call his puppy back, “which seemed to spur him into action”, the court heard.

In footage filmed by Donald Milton, a member of the public, and the police officer’s body-worn camera, Kruger can be heard repeatedly shouting “Pebble” before putting his dog on a lead.

Kruger, the MP for Devizes in Wiltshire since 2019, was said to have been “contrite and apologetic” following the incident, which lasted around 45 seconds, on the 2,500-acre site – London’s largest royal park.

He told police: “I’m sorry, I had no idea, I didn’t see the deer. Anyway, obviously he needs to be on a lead.”

Jae Carwardine, defending, said Kruger’s “attention was momentarily drawn away” because his youngest son, aged seven, was tired after walking for about two hours.

“This was a brief lapse while juggling his responsibilities as a parent, quite understandable, but something Mr Kruger deeply regrets,” she said.

“Of course, he will take much greater care in the future.”

Danny Kruger in the Commons
Image: Mr Kruger in the House of Commons. File pic

Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram fined Kruger £120 and told him he must pay £575 costs and a £34 surcharge, totalling £719.

He told Kruger: “The video says it all really, doesn’t it? You should have known better, especially in Richmond Park, where everyone knows there are wild deer.

“Your dog was not under control, he was able to frighten the deer and here you are in court today.

“The deer were clearly startled and frightened. It could have caused injury, fortunately it didn’t.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today07/06/2021