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Moorhen killed by dog on Hampstead Heath after professional walker loses control

PUBLISHED: 08:03 03 May 2013

A common moorhen. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

A common moorhen. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

PA Archive/Press Association Images

A moorhen was killed by a dog on Hampstead Heath after a professional walker – who was looking after five pets – lost control of the animal.

The bird was savaged by an out-of-control border collie and springer spaniel cross breed after it escaped from commercial walker Jacqueline Gomez, who was with five dogs at the time, and got into the Ladies’ Pond in August last year.

Ms Gomez, of Station Road, Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire, has now been found guilty of two bylaw offences at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £760.

Richard Gentry, manager of Hampstead Heath Constabulary, said: “It’s extremely rare for dogs to kill wildlife, but it’s very serious when it does happen. We want people to ensure when they come to the Heath that they keep their dogs under proper control.”

Ms Gomez breached Hampstead Heath bylaws 21 and 23 by failing to keep the dog under proper control and for allowing it into the Ladies’ Pond area, where dogs are banned.

Mr Gentry said heath bosses recommend that individuals walk no more than four dogs at once.

The moorhen case was one of a number of bylaw prosecutions heard at Highbury Corner on April 11.

James Pratchett, 54, of Gilden Crescent in Queen’s Crescent, was fined £50 for keeping a tent up for too long while fishing last September at the Vale of Health Pond. He was ordered to pay costs of £100.

Another man was found guilty of fishing without a licence, leading to a bill for £335 in fines and costs, while a cyclist was fined £115 and charged £200 in costs for riding on a prohibited path.


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