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Moment Suffolk man repeatedly kicked HEDGEHOG down garden path after making a milk delivery

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A milkman has been told to pay a fine of £277 after he was caught on camera repeatedly kicking a hedgehog down a garden path.

In the video a man can clearly be seen dropping off milk at a porch where the hedgehog was eating food put out by a kind householder before he uses his foot to push it off the porch. 

David Herring, 53, admitted causing unnecessary suffering by kicking the protected animal in Suffolk after being reported by Ellen Burrows who has left food out for the protected animal for 15 years. 

She complained to her local dairy H. Byam & Son Ltd which employed Herring and later gave a statement to the RSPCA.

The footage, released by the animal charity, also shows the man shining a torch and holding up his trousers while he kicks the animal down the road.   

The first kick by the man is a side sweep with his foot while during the second he lifts his foot up in the air before striking the protected animal which can clearly be heard in the video footage. 

Herring was fined £277 and ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim surcharge of £34.  

The first kick by the man is a side sweep with his foot while during the second he lifts his foot up in the air before striking the protected animal which can clearly be heard in the video footage

The first kick by the man is a side sweep with his foot while during the second he lifts his foot up in the air before striking the protected animal which can clearly be heard in the video footage 

Retired hairdresser Mrs Burrows, 67, who witnessed the footage with her husband Trevor, 66, said she had been putting out food for hedgehogs around 15 years ago outside her front door at the side of her semi-detached house.

She said: ‘I like to feed them because they are lovely animals and they are totally harmless. It makes me angry that anyone could deliberately hurt one.

‘I put out a mixture of proper hedgehog food and dried cat food with some water for them to drink. In the past we have had whole families enjoying the food.

‘The milkman comes two or three times a week and my husband often checks the footage from the camera on his phone.

‘He was looking at it on this particular morning and he said, ‘I can’t believe what I have just seen.’

‘When he showed me the video of the milkman kicking this defenceless hedgehog for no reason, I was furious.

‘You could see him digging it out with his foot and then kicking it down the path so it rolled a bit. Then he kicked it again straight down the path out to the front of our house.

‘My husband went out to see if there was any sign of the hedgehog in the morning, but he couldn’t see it anywhere so it must have got away.’

The mother of-two added the milk company apologised who said ‘someone else’ would deliver the milk. 

She said: ‘I don’t blame the dairy because they cannot be responsible for an employer doing such a cruel thing.

‘Ever since the incident, we have had another milkman deliver our milk. But I now put the hedgehog food outside our back door.’

In the video a man can clearly be seen dropping off milk at a porch where the hedgehog was curling up on the step before using his foot to push it off the porch

In the video a man can clearly be seen dropping off milk at a porch where the hedgehog was curling up on the step before using his foot to push it off the porch

RSPCA Inspector Caroline Richardson, said: ‘Having reviewed video footage, it was clear the hedgehog was kicked with considerable force.

‘The final kick can clearly be heard on the camera footage. The hedgehog rolls at speed several metres, out of sight.

‘An expert vet who examined the footage said the hedgehog would have suffered unnecessarily during this time and the suffering would have extended beyond the time of the kicking if an injury was caused. They believed the suffering caused was due to pain and fear.

‘This was an incident which showed a clear disregard for a wild animal.’

Herring of Manor Road, Sudbury, Suffolk appeared before Colchester Magistrates Court on 6 April.

He admitted that on November 2021 in Martyns Rise, Long Melford he caused unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a hedgehog contrary to Section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The footage, which was passed to the RSPCA to investigate, also shows the man shining a torch and holding up his trousers while he kicks the animal down the garden path

The footage, which was passed to the RSPCA to investigate, also shows the man shining a torch and holding up his trousers while he kicks the animal down the garden path 

Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Caroline Richardson, said: ‘Having reviewed video footage it was clear the hedgehog was kicked with considerable force. 

‘The final kick can clearly be heard on the camera footage. The hedgehog rolls at speed several metres, out of sight.

‘An expert vet who examined the footage said the hedgehog would have suffered unnecessarily during this time and the suffering would have extended beyond the time of the kicking if an injury was caused. 

‘They believed the suffering caused was due to pain and fear. This was an incident which showed a clear disregard for a wild animal.’

The court also heard Herring was of previous good character, that he’d had a heart attack within the last year and had been under stress. 

He said it was a one off incident and he had initially thought the hedgehog was a rat

A spokesperson for family run dairy H. Byam & Son Ltd which is based in Sudbury refused to comment.

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