David Herring, 53, can be seen on video walking toward a house just before the horrid incident occurred last December, reports Suffolk Live. He the
David Herring, 53, can be seen on video walking toward a house just before the horrid incident occurred last December, reports Suffolk Live. He then appears to spot the poor animal next to the door. After pulling it out with his foot, he then proceeded to kick the hedgehog down the street.
Mr Herring appeared before Colchester Magistrates Court on April 6.
He admitted to the offence of “causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal”.
The judge told him that the hedgehog was under his control, and “by kicking the said animal and you knew or ought reasonably to have known that your act would or would be likely to [cause unnecessary suffering] contrary to Section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.”
Mr Herring was fined £277 by the judge, and ordered to pay £300 in costs and a victim surcharge of £34.
After the incident was caught on camera, it was passed on to the RSPCA to investigate.
During mitigation, the court heard the defendant was previously of good character, but had suffered a heart attack within the last year and been under stress.
They added that it was a one-off incident and he had initially thought the hedgehog was a rat.
After the case, RSCPA inspector Caroline Richardson said: “Having reviewed video footage it was clear the hedgehog was kicked with considerable force.
“The final kick can clearly be heard on the camera footage.
“The hedgehog rolls at speed several metres, out of sight.
“An expert vet who examined the footage said the hedgehog would have suffered unnecessarily during this time and the suffering would have extended beyond the time of the kicking if an injury was caused.
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“They believed the suffering caused was due to pain and fear. This was an incident which showed a clear disregard for a wild animal.”
His punishment comes just before Hedgehog Awareness Week, which is due to be held from May 1 – 7.
Organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, this event seeks to highlight the problems faced by hedgehogs.
An estimated 30 per cent of hedgehogs have disappeared over the past decade and there are now fewer than one million left in the UK.
It’s believed that habitat loss, such as removal of hedgerows, urban development, roads and garden pest control, including slug pellets, are all contributing to the falling numbers.
Additional reporting by Holly Hume.