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

A common moorhen. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA

A common moorhen. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA - Credit: 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.

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