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Pet lovers fear poison attack after Wanstead animal deaths

PUBLISHED: 15:48 23 September 2010

DEADLY: Warning signs in Wanstead Park after a dog and 90 birds died

DEADLY: Warning signs in Wanstead Park after a dog and 90 birds died

Archant

DOG WALKERS still fear walking their pets in Wanstead Park almost seven months after a cruel poisoning attack.

A pet dog and around 90 birds were killed in an attack by two Newham Council workers who appeared before Snaresbrook Crown Court this week.

Mark Page, 28, and Terrance Webb, 35, both admitted theft charges and misusing Ficam-W, a deadly powder used to kill cockroaches and rats.

In the hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the pair said they wanted to know if the chemical, stolen from their employers, was capable of killing crows.

They committed the crimes during lunch breaks of their jobs as pest controllers, on March 8 and 9 this year, where they placed bread laced with the deadly poison around Alexandra Lake, in Wanstead Park.

Prosecutor Helen Owen said: “The dog that died, a German Shepherd, belonged to an elderly woman who lived alone – 20 minutes after returning from the park the dog suffered convulsions and died.”

The owner, who is believed to live on the nearby Aldbersbrook Estate, posted up notices shortly after the death of her pet warning other walkers not to let their dogs near the lake.

On the note, she described the dog as being her “beloved companion”.

Susan Cook, of Manor Park, who regularly walks her daughter’s dog around the lake, said: “I don’t let her anywhere near the lake.

“The dog is so loved by my grandchildren I don’t know what would happen if it became ill.”

Another dog walker, Courtney Mackie, of Wanstead Park Road, said: “I remember when it happened there were seven fire engines and red tape everywhere.

“All I worry about is some other twisted person getting the same idea.”

Ordering pre-sentence reports and bailing Page, of Barrington Road, Bexleyheath, Kent, and Webb, of Bancroft Chase, Rush Green, until October 18, Judge Simon Wilkinson said: “This is an unpleasant offence; all sentencing options will be open.”

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