Police Seek Brutal Attackers of Horses
Jan. 29, 1993
LONDON (AP) _ Police said Thursday they were looking for at least two men suspected of carrying out a series of savage attacks on horses in southern England.
More than 30 horses have been stabbed, clubbed, shot at with air guns, attacked with corrosive liquids and even sexually assaulted during the past year, police say.
One horse died of stab wounds and another was later killed because it was so badly hurt.
To Britons, who take their cue from horse-fancying Queen Elizabeth II, this is intolerable.
Rewards totalling $27,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest, and more than 600 callers have deluged police with offers of information. Police say they also have had calls from Scandinavia and the United States.
Conservative Party lawmaker Harry Greenway, a member of the British Horse Society's governing council, demanded a ''vigorous investigation and prosecution of the offenders, bearing in mind the heinous nature of the crime.''
Police in Hampshire County, scene of 23 of the attacks, set up a special task force and codenamed it Mountbatten after a horse stabbed to death Friday in its stable near Alton, about 45 miles southwest of London.
Vet Colin Baxter said the mare, an Irish hunter, also had been sexually assaulted with a blunt instrument.
''This person is sick,'' Fiona Broderick, 24, daughter of Mountbatten's owner, Robert Broderick, told reporters. ''It is horrible to think he must have been out there somewhere watching the house and waiting to strike.''
At a news conference Thursday, Hampshire police said one suspect is a man between 60 and 70 years old. Another is a younger man. Detective Superintendent Peter Long said there may be others carrying out the attacks.
Police also released a photograph of a kitchen knife found in a field in Southampton, 80 miles southwest of London, where a 2-year-old Shetland pony was slashed last July.
A neighborhood watch group called Hampshire Horsewatch has been set up to protect horses in the area. Spokeswoman Sally Grover said Thursday the group hoped soon to have recruits guarding horses across the county.
Other attacks have been reported in neighboring Buckinghamshire.