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Mum’s emotional speeding plea after beloved cat is killed in hit and run

PUBLISHED: 06:30 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:23 31 July 2020

Heather Neal and her daughter, Hollie, want to raise awareness around speed in Norwich after their cat was killed in a hit and run. Picture: Heather Neal

Heather Neal and her daughter, Hollie, want to raise awareness around speed in Norwich after their cat was killed in a hit and run. Picture: Heather Neal

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A mum whose beloved cat was killed in a hit and run has called for action to cut speeding in her neighbourhood.

Heather Neal would like the speed to be reduced on Chestnut Avenue in Spixworth after the death of Sooty the cat. Picture: Heather NealHeather Neal would like the speed to be reduced on Chestnut Avenue in Spixworth after the death of Sooty the cat. Picture: Heather Neal

On Monday, Sooty, an 11-year-old rescue cat, was found unresponsive just metres from his home on Chestnut Avenue in Spixworth after being hit by a car.

His owners Heather Neal and her daughter Hollie, 21, were heartbroken to put him down, on the advice of vets, when they learnt the news while on holiday in the Lake District.

Sooty the cat was killed by a driver on Chestnut Avenue in Spixworht. Picture: Heather NealSooty the cat was killed by a driver on Chestnut Avenue in Spixworht. Picture: Heather Neal

Ms Neal, 43, said: “It was a complete shock when we got the call from the vets and we were both distraught.

“We were told he was left in a very bad way with a serious head injury and it would be kinder to put him to sleep.

Heather Neal, from Spixworth, with her daughter, Hollie. Picture: Heather NealHeather Neal, from Spixworth, with her daughter, Hollie. Picture: Heather Neal

“The person who did it must have been callous as they just left him in the middle of the road and drove off. Shame on them.

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“I also can’t believe that someone would have been going fast enough in the area, and when the vets first told me I assumed it must have been elsewhere.

“It is a quiet, residential area and it is a close, not a through road, so they must have been driving dangerously.”

As a result, Ms Neal, who works for Norfolk and Suffolk Police, believes the speed limit on the street should drop from 30mph to 20mph and speed bumps and signs should be considered.

She added: “My main concern is that it won’t be a cat next time - it will be a child. As hard as it was to lose a cat, it would be devastating to lose a child.

“I’ve seen dangerous driving here before. The problem is people aren’t slowing down and treat it as a normal road.

Ms Neal has published a post on a Facebook group warning about the dangerous of speeding drivers in the area and said she had been “overwhelmed” by the response.

She added: “It has generated a lot of interest from people in the area, which was very humbling, with lots of people raising concern about speeding drivers and the speed limit.”

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: “It is unfortunate that a small number of drivers may be driving inappropriately in this residential area, this would be a matter for police enforcement. The current level of speed restriction is in line with our speed management strategy.”


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