I’m from a small village in South Shropshire where I have lived all my life. My partner and I love going for long walks with our three dogs and appreciate the beauty of the countryside. About seven years ago, ‘Otis’ Ferry moved into the old ‘Gamekeeper’s’ Cottage on the outskirts of the village. After dusk on Friday, March 3rd 2006, we took our dogs for a long walk through the local [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Otis+ferry&iid=2906493″ src=”d/b/a/8/Otis_Ferry_Is_3a89.jpg?adImageId=12960122&imageId=2906493″ width=”135″ height=”170″ /]lanes and when we were about eighty yards past the entrance of Mr. Ferry’s lengthy driveway, we heard the most horrific cries of a dog resounding from his property.
We ran back towards the end of the driveway where we witnessed Mr. Ferry, clearly lit up by his bright security light, repeatedly beating a dog with what was either a wooden or metal pole about five feet in length until the dog fell silent. As Mr. Ferry was beating this dog, he twice shouted “Now look what you’ve done !!’. He lifted up the lifeless body of a white long haired Jack Russell and threw it into the boot of his Range Rover. Unaware of our presence, I had to shout several times that I was calling the Police!
Mr Ferry appeared somewhat stunned and annoyed that his violent behavior had been witnessed at this isolated location and shone a searchlight at us, shouting back “Go back to the hostel”. Frustrated and certainly rather than take the law into his own hands, my partner decided to punish ‘Otis’ with a bluff, alleging that his “act of violence was caught on camcorder.”
We then started to make our way back home as quickly as possible to report the incident but within minutes, a panic stricken ’Otis’ Ferry came speeding alongside us in the lane. This particular part of the lane was narrow with steep embanked hedging and Mr. Ferry used his Range Rover to threaten and make us feel uncomfortable. We managed to lose him and when we got home we called the Police and the RSPCA. The RSPCA got back to us saying there was “Nothing they could do because they did not find the body of a dog“.
The Police informed us they had contacted Mr. Ferry and he’d told them that “His bitches were in season making a lot of noise and that he went outside to quiet them down.” There was also a couple in the lane being a nuisance”. Based on the lack of evidence, the Police decided not to take things further. On a hunting Saturday in January 2008, we witnessed three very nervous Jack Russell’s with terrible facial injuries on Mr. Ferry’s property. Since making the complaint regarding Mr Ferry’s beating of his dog, incidents of harassment have been made. A dead Badger has been placed on our vehicle and a dead fox left on our door step. Whilst we cannot conclusively prove that Mr Ferry was the bearer of these unwelcome gifts, it does seem suspicious that the dead animals began to appear shortly after our complaints to the Police.
What cannot be questioned is when Mr. Ferry sees us out walking our dogs; he drives slowly behind us in the lanes and even stalks us down public footpaths across the fields. Sometimes he has been seen filming us with a camera or mobile and always likes to claim that we’re on private land when we’re actually on a public footpath! On January 5th this year, there was a late evening fall of snow and we chose to take a short nearby walk in a field about seven minutes from our home. We noticed a vehicle with a bright searchlight doing sweeps up and down the fields and heading in our direction. This vehicle is the same type of care that Mr. Ferry drives a black Shogun. The Shogun suspiciously picked up speed and drove rapidly in our direction. Acting upon our wits, we dodged through a field gate with our dogs, narrowly escaping being hit by the vehicle.
From the security of his car, Mr. Ferry has been witnessed to have made two separate slit-throat gestures at my partner and has also threatened to shoot our dogs. In mid July 2008, a shot was fired in our direction from approximately 110 yards, whilst we were walking along a public footpath with our dogs. Whilst the shot could have been fired by anyone, we found it quite suspicious that Mr Ferry emerged minutes later, driving away in his car.
Despite reporting most of these incidents to the Police and being given crime reference numbers, we have been told to ignore him and that it is just ‘bullying tactics‘ and that there is not a lot they can do without any evidence. My partner has also been harassed by pro-hunt vehicles driving very close at him and blaring their horns whilst he cycled along the main road into Shrewsbury on different occasions. One of these vehicles we’ve seen parked on Mr. Ferry’s property. Most people in our village are against hunting and some will not say anything because they fear reprisals from the hunting fraternity.
At twilight, on Friday 23rd November 2007, whilst out walking our dogs, we came across a miniature Jack Russell that was limping but kept relentlessly following us in the lane. We tried very hard to find the owner and knocked on several doors which each had overhead CCTV surveillance but received no reply. Concerned for its welfare, we decided to let this vulnerable dog come home with us. The following day, we took the dog to the vets as we knew the vet could check to see if it was micro-chipped and then contact the owner to collect it. The veterinary assistant informed us the dog was not micro-chipped and that we should either contact the Police or dog warden about the circumstances.
We decided to contact the dog warden. The Police meanwhile came round to our address and took my partner in for questioning. It transpired that this dog belonged to Mr. ‘Otis’ Ferry but he had, claimed it had been stolen off his property on Tuesday, 20th November which was three days prior to us actually coming across this dog! My partner received an unjust theft caution for an ‘act of good faith‘…‘Why on earth would we want another dog when we’ve three ‘rescued dogs’ already ? At a much later date, we read in the media that two days before we found this dog on Wednesday, November 21st 2007, Mr. ‘Otis’ Ferry was involved in an incident with ‘The Heythrop Hunt’ at Stow-on-Wold, Gloucestershire where he had allegedly attacked a female hunt monitor.
Despite the fact that ‘Otis’ Ferry informed the police his dog was missing three days before we found it, he further changed his story through his solicitor at a sitting in Gloucester Crown Court in May 2009, insisting then that his dog was stolen two weeks before the incident at Stow-on-Wold
(Wednesday 7th November 2007!) and claiming that he had only got involved in a skirmish with hunt monitors because of the recent and ‘stressful theft’ of his (puppy) !! This statement unjustly influenced the judge in his final summary of proceedings which only resulted in Mr Ferry receiving a twelve month conditional discharge.
Despite us writing a letter to the Chief Inspector of West Mercia Police in December 2009, which included a copy of my partner’s caution with the date the Police were falsely informed that Mr Ferry claimed his dog was stolen along with evidence that Mr ‘Otis’ Ferry presented a different time frame his for when his dog was stolen to the media and Crown Court, the Police would still not lift the caution my partner received. It very much appears that Mr ‘Otis’ Ferry is above the law with Police documentation that states otherwise…. On a country living basis we feel suffocated by Mr Ferry’s malice towards us and any such harassment he may be connected with. Not being able to enjoy the same rural walks we’ve enjoyed since childhood has spoilt our way of life and left us worried about further actions.
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