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‘He ruined my life’: guilty plea for driver who killed horse on road

The owner of a horse who died at the roadside said the driver responsible has “ruined my life”.

Charlotte Pickett’s 11-year-old gelding Archie suffered a shattered pelvis when he was hit from behind by a car, on 27 March last year. The driver responsible pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, in court this month.

Charlotte told H&H she was almost home from a ride when she heard a car approaching at speed.

“I heard him before I saw him; he was flat-out,” she said.

“I thought ‘idiot driver, he’ll slow down’ but he was getting closer and closer. I turned and was waving my arms for him to slow down, but he didn’t swerve or anything, just went straight into the back of us.”

Charlotte and Archie were flung into the air.

“I got up almost immediately and was trying to take in what happened,” Charlotte said. “Archie was hobbling up the road, and the driver got out of his car and said: ‘Look what you’ve done to my f***ing car, you stupid f***ing b***h.”

Charlotte and her father, who had been looking out for her return, called the police and the vet. The driver left in his damaged car, but Charlotte stayed with her horse.

“He was really badly hurt; he was bleeding out,” she said. “We stayed with him, and tried to make him comfortable, and give him love.

“Before the vet arrived, Archie was down. I sat there and stroked him, and told him how good he was. When the vet arrived, he said ‘I’m sorry’.”

Archie had shattered his pelvis, Charlotte said, adding that the vet gave him a very small amount of sedation, “so his last few seconds weren’t in any pain”.

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The driver is due to return to court for sentencing next month and Charlotte said she hopes he will be suitably punished.

“But I don’t think he’ll care even if he does go to prison, he’s a horrible, horrible man,” she said.

“He ruined my life; since it happened, I’ve been on medication and therapy for depression and PTSD; I couldn’t even walk down the pavement without being terrified of something happening.

“Archie was such a character; so loving and so cheeky. I’ve lost my best friend.

“I wasn’t injured; if I could have been to save him, I’d have taken that any day, but now I’ll never get him back.”

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