Man sentenced after out of control dog killed sheep in field

Joshua Ferret has been sentenced at Norwich Magistrates Court after his dog attacked sheep in Norfolk.

Joshua Ferret has been sentenced at Norwich Magistrates Court after his dog attacked sheep in Norfolk. - Credit: Peter Walsh, Archant Norfolk.

Dog owners have been urged to not let their pets roam free in the countryside after a man admitted being in charge of a rottweiler which attacked and killed sheep.

Joshua Ferret, 34, had been walking the dog near to farmland at Leafy Oak Lane, near Poringland, when it ran at 330 sheep which had been grazing.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard the animal proceeded to "chase the sheep from one side of the field to the other".

Ashley Petchey, prosecuting, said the dog "grabbed hold of the legs of some of the sheep" but then let them go rather than keeping hold of them.

Mr Petchey said Ferret, who was on an electric scooter at the time, "kept saying sorry" to the farmer.

The dog grabbed about 10 sheep during the incident on January 5 last year, which also saw £200 of electric fencing damaged.

One sheep died after being attacked while three ewes also perished.

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Ferret, of Heathgate, Norwich, was sentenced on Tuesday (January 11) after admitting being a person in charge of a dog worrying livestock and criminal damage.

District Judge David Wilson said it should serve as a "salutary lesson for dog owners that they are not free from their responsibilities simply because they are walking their dogs in the countryside."

Imposing a six-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, he said it has had a "devastating" effect on the farmer, who had since suffered a stroke, and has also resulted in significant financial losses.

Before Ferret was sentenced, the court heard a statement from the farmer.

He said the attack had "completely changed my life" and left him "not the same person I used to be" while he described the scene as "carnage" and "every farmer's worst nightmare".

Ferret was also ordered to undertake 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and pay £500 compensation to the victim.

Ferret, who represented himself in court, said: "I'm just very sorry it happened."

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

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