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Tory MP Danny Kruger fined after dog chased Richmond Park deer
7 June 2021, 23:00
A Conservative MP has been fined £719 after his 11-month-old Jack Russell caused a stampede of deer in London's Richmond Park.
Danny Kruger, 46, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court to causing or permitting an animal to chase or worry another animal in a royal park.
He admitted losing control of his dog, named Pebble, in the park, which is home to more than 600 deer, on 20 March.
Pebble chased the herd, causing a stampede. Thankfully no one was injured.
Prosecutor Dominic Hockley said: "It's been said it only takes one pebble to start an avalanche. In this case it only took one Pebble to start a stampede."
The former speech writer for David Cameron, who has represented Devizes in Wiltshire since 2019, managed to get a hold of Pebble and put it on a lead after around 45 seconds.
He told police: "I'm sorry, I had no idea, I didn't see the deer. Anyway, obviously he needs to be on a lead."
The court was told he had been on a long walk with his wife and three children and had become momentarily distracted while attending to his youngest son, aged seven, who was tired after a two-hour walk.
Jae Carwardine, defending, said: "This was a brief lapse while juggling his responsibilities as a parent, quite understandable, but something Mr Kruger deeply regrets.
"Of course, he will take much greater care in the future."
PC Samantha Riggs saw the event, which was caught on her body camera and a member of the public's mobile phone.
Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram fined Kruger £120, and ordered him to pay £575 costs and a £34 surcharge. The total was £719.
He said: "The video says it all really, doesn't it? You should have known better, especially in Richmond Park, where everyone knows there are wild deer.
"Your dog was not under control, he was able to frighten the deer and here you are in court today.
"The deer were clearly startled and frightened. It could have caused injury, fortunately it didn't."