Out of control dog attacked and killed sheep, court hears

Some of the sheep at Intwood Farm. Picture: Danielle Booden

File picture of sheep. Joshua Ferret appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court charged with criminal damage relating to sheep at Howe, near Poringland. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A man has admitted being in charge of a dog which attacked a herd of sheep, killing one of them.

Joshua Ferret, 33, had been walking a rottweiler dog near to farmland at Leafy Oak Lane, near Poringland, when it ran at a herd of sheep.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard about 330 sheep had been grazing on the land at the time of the incident, which was about 4pm on January 5 this year.

Norwich City Centre, Exterior Norwich Magistrates court Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Norwich City Centre, Exterior Norwich Magistrates court Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting, said Ferret had been on an electric scooter at the time, when the dog ran after the sheep.

He said the farmer returned to see the sheep being chased to one side of the field by the dog and then to the other side of the field.

Mr Petchey said the dog got "in between them" and "grabbed hold of the legs of some of the sheep".

The court heard it took about 10 minutes for Ferret to get the dog back under control.

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It was thought the dog grabbed about 10 of the sheep one of which later died.

Electric fencing at the site was also affected with about £200 worth of damage caused.

Mr Petchey said in the aftermath of the incident some of the sheep did not give birth or had lambs aborted.

He said the farmer felt unwell after the incident and subsequently suffered a mini stroke which was brought about by the stress of the incident.

Ferret, of Heathgate, Norwich, had denied an offence of criminal damage on January 5 this year and was due to stand trial on Thursday (December 2) but admitted the offence.

He had previously admitted being a person in charge of a dog worrying livestock on January 5 this year.

The court heard Ferret, who represented himself in court, pleaded guilty to the offence on the basis of what happened that day, not the subsequent problems.

He was an animal lover who had the dog for about 11 months before the incident.

He said the sheep had not been in the field before and added the fencing was loose at the time.

The court also heard Ferret had lost three family members, including his father and nan.

District Judge David Wilson said the incident has had a "devastating" effect on the farmer and adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared until January 11 next year.

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