Monday, September 2, 2013
An East Budleigh pensioner was ‘terrified’ when two gunshots ‘whistled’ near her while she was playing ball with her dog.
Cathy Moyle, 69, of Brookfield Road had stopped in an area on Pound Lane near the beginning of a public footpath with her dog Lilly, writes David Beasley.
By law, shooters have to be more than 50 feet away from a footpath - and Mrs Moyle insists they were closer.
She said: “The sound was deafening and I heard the whistle of the shot. I instinctively screamed, then there was another.
“It frightened the living daylights out of me; I was terrified.
“I was born in Devon, I have lived here all my life and I know the difference between a crow scarer and a short gun.
“A crow scare doesn’t go off twice in a row.”
She said the landowners were entitled to shoot, but they should be aware of the terrain and how near they are to footpaths and roads.
“They should be responsible and know the law, ” she said.
“I’m not a rabbit and I don’t want to be shot.”
Mrs Moyle says that other villagers have been ‘too frightened’ to come forward.
District councillor Tom Wright, a former firearms officer and a member of the Police and Crime Panel said: “In my experience, members of the shooting fraternity are responsible and know the law.
“Unless you can see the shooter, it is very difficult to know from where the shots have come and the distance when discharged.
“Twelve-bore shotguns can be very noisy weapons and, depending on the load and wind, a shot 50 metres away can feel a lot closer.
“I have not heard of any concerns in the village, but if there are then it should looked into.”
A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: “It’s an isolated incident on August 7.
“It’s got here on the log that the area’s surrounded by farms. It’s quite probably pest control going on.
“Farmers are aware of the law and what they can and can’t do with shooting on the land.
“Every care should be taken when shooting near a road or footpath.”