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article imageGolfer fined for attacking fox with club

By Lynn Curwin     May 17, 2011 in Crime
Aberdeen - A golfer was fined £750 for striking a fox in the head with a club and leaving it so badly injured that it had to be put down by another man.
Donald Forbes, 55, was golfing at Peterculter Golf Club, Aberdeen, in September 2010 when he saw the fox. The animal was trying to get a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer, which was inside his bag.
"The fox was biting Donald's bag," the BBC quoted Graeme Duthie, Forbes' golfing companion, as saying. "Donald ran towards the bag and shouted at it. He hit it with the club in his hand."
Forbes told the court that he heard some club members had been bitten by the fox, but the animal was reported to be popular with most golfers, some of whom fed it.
"My actions, I thought, were proportionate in relation to the threat it was being to me and my belongings," Forbes said, according to the BBC.
"It was an instinctive swing - I happened to have the club in my hand at the time."
With the fox lying motionless, the golfers walked away and continued their game.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said the fox would have suffered a great deal of pain before another golfer killed it to end its suffering.
Golf club member Alan Austen, from Peterculter, told the court that he spoke to Forbes on the course later the day.
"I said, 'how's it going?' and he said, 'I think the fox problem has been solved. I think the guy behind me hit it with a chair', and he said he would tell me about it later," STV quoted him as saying.
At a restaurant that night Forbes admitted to Austen that he had taken a "small swing" at the animal.
"My understanding was you had seen it, you became annoyed with it going for your chocolate biscuit, you hit it on the head with your driver," The Scotsman quoted Sheriff Annella Cowan as saying to Forbes.
"You did it deliberately. I am satisfied you are guilty of this offence."
Along with paying a fine, Forbes was also ordered to forfeit the club he had used as a weapon.
More about Fox, Club, Golf, Golfer, Donald Forbes
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