Driver, 80, fined after killing horse

Honiton pensioner drove home with smashed windscreen after thinking he had hit a tree.

An 80 year-old pensioner was fined �215 for killing a horse with his car in a ‘terrible accident’ in Sidbury.

David Herridge, 80, pleaded guilty at Central Devon Magistrates to driving without due care and attention and failing to stop following a collision with the horse on the A375 Cotford Road in November.

Travelling from his home in Honiton to Sidmouth in a Vauxhall Corsa, Herridge collided with the rear of the horse around noon on Saturday, November 27, catapulting its rider Louise Denning from her mount.

She had to be airlifted to hospital, but fortunately was wearing state-of-the art protective clothing, including a full back protector, and was released from the Royal Devon and Exeter the following day with relatively minor injuries.Herridge was unaware he had hit ‘Front Page’, a promising point-to-point horse, despite his smashed windscreen and the damage to the front right side of the car.

The court heard last Thursday he remembers ‘a bit of a bump’ and that he turned into a nearby garage to check his vehicle. He then turned round and proceeded to drive straight back home to Honiton.

There he told a neighbour he thought he had hit a tree, and the matter was reported to the police.

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The horse, owned by Roger and Linda Newton, the landlords at the Blue Ball pub in Sidford, had to be destroyed. Trained by Monique and Stewart Pike at their stables in Sidbury, ‘Front Page’, was estimated to be worth �10,000. Compensation for the rider and owner is being dealt with by insurers.

James Rickard, defending, said Herridge’s licence had since expired, and he does not intend to reapply for it, nor is he intending to replace the vehicle which was written off in the collision.

He said: “[Herridge] now feels he has got to the stage that everything on the road moves far quicker than he does.”

Sentencing, magistrates said this had been a terrible accident for those involved, and fined the defendant �100 for each offence, reduced from �150 for his guilty pleas, and a mandatory victim surcharge of �15. Herridge was also disqualified from driving.