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When Mike shot Charlie

Tuesday 3 December 2013, 17:09

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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When Mike shot Charlie
Poor Baz. And poor Grundys, as Ed’s unintentional action drives another wedge between him and Will. This isn’t the first time that an Ambridge farmer has shot a dog belonging to someone he knows. It happened in the 1980s to Mike Tucker and Caroline Sterling (then Bone). 
In May 1984, Caroline brought an pedigree Old English Sheepdog puppy to live with her at Grey Gables. Charlie was a lot of trouble, chewing her clothes, vying with Jack Woolley’s dog Captain, and even knocking over the sweet trolley in the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Mike Tucker was having problems with dogs on his land, where he kept 50 ewes. In July, he heard that five sheep had been worried to death in Edgeley. He started to carry a gun with him.
On 17 July, Charlie swam across the Am in the Country Park, and got out onto Mike’s meadow. Mike fired and Charlie was injured in the hindquarters and back. The police questioned Mike on suspicion of criminal damage, although he insisted he was taking reasonable action to defend his sheep. 
After a month, the police confirmed that Mike would not be prosecuted. Caroline pursued him for her costs in the Small Claims Court. And Charlie went to live with Caroline’s parents in Darrington.
Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.
Learn more about Mike, Caroline and the actors who play them in our Who’s Who.
The legal position on dog walking and shooting dogs from:
Farmers Weekly
Best of Both Worlds
Old English Sheepdog Old English Sheepdog
Poor Baz. And poor Grundys, as Ed’s unintentional action drives another wedge between him and Will. This isn’t the first time that an Ambridge farmer has shot a dog belonging to someone he knows. It happened in the 1980s to Mike Tucker and Caroline Sterling (then Bone). 

In May 1984, Caroline brought an pedigree Old English Sheepdog puppy to live with her at Grey Gables. Charlie was a lot of trouble, chewing her clothes, vying with Jack Woolley’s dog Captain, and even knocking over the sweet trolley in the restaurant.

Meanwhile, Mike Tucker was having problems with dogs on his land, where he kept 50 ewes. In July, he heard that five sheep had been worried to death in Edgeley. He started to carry a gun with him.

On 17 July, Charlie swam across the Am in the Country Park, and got out onto Mike’s meadow. Mike fired and Charlie was injured in the hindquarters and back. The police questioned Mike on suspicion of criminal damage, although he insisted he was taking reasonable action to defend his sheep. 

After a month, the police confirmed that Mike would not be prosecuted. Caroline pursued him for her costs in the Small Claims Court. And Charlie went to live with Caroline’s parents in Darrington.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

Learn more about Mike, Caroline and the actors who play them in our Who’s Who.

The legal position on dog walking and shooting dogs from:


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    Comment number 1.

    So it was yet another repeated storyline... It figures.

    Add that to the tedious rubbish of Darrell going weird and Clarrie (seemingly) heading down the same track and it appears that we're in for yet another round of public information storylines about mental illness.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    In my experience the law specifying what people must do, and what people actually do in practice, are two very different things. The Grundy clan has a long history of closing ranks and not telling the police about their serious criminal actions - the attempted murder and GBH of Ed by Will being perhaps the most serious.

    And where an incident is presented as an accident to the outside world by all the players in the action then why would anyone else think to inform the police? If you even thought about it you'd assume all the necessary actions were taken. When my neighbour told me about a horrible accident with a dog at harvest all I could do was sympathise and rail against idiot owners of dogs. It never occurred to me to say and did you tell the police? I don't think it would have been appropriate even if I had thought of it and I certainly wouldn't have told the police just in case no one else had.

    The only hope of Ed getting done for the shooting would be for Matt to find out and for Ed to refuse to allow himself to be blackmailed. But that seems unlikely and probably a recycled storyline too far.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    I can go along with no one reporting this to the police because the Grundys close ranks though how Will's going to get another dog from Borchester Land without explanation, I'm not sure.

    What I can't understand is why not one character has criticized Ed for the shooting. They keep referring to it as an 'accident'. While we can assume Clarrie is trying to put the best spin on it, Oliver and Caroline surely can't be under the impression the dog was worrying the cows, Will would soon have put them straight on that.

    Oh, and how very nice to see both cath and Shy - do please come along to Peet's or Sue's Mustardland, you are missed!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    Apart from the legal standpoint, which is well explained here, the technical one.

    I asked my friend, who shoots a lot and has been used by the police as a marksman to kill dangerous livestock.
    This is as near to a definitive response as I think it's possible to get.

    I filled in my friend with the scenario, then asked for technical advice about getting a clean kill, with that combination of gun and ammo.

    He said "Dogs? They're quite difficult -that blue barrel is the farthest away you could even hope to get a clean kill, and that's in plain view".

    I asked how far away he thought it was, and he replied "About 30 yards".

    He also said "It's a basic rule - if you haven't got your target in plain sight, don't shoot".

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    I think it's rather unfair to criticise this as a recycled storyline unless you think that the farmers within any farming community over a period of 30 or 40 years or so would never shoot more than one dog. You might as well say that Deadwood's threats to kill Marjorie's dogs was a recycled storyline. I thought it was very revealing.

    Personally I'd say that the shooting of any dog calls for a storyline and I don't believe that only one dog gets shot per umpty years in a farming community either. (That goes for badgers too.)

    And given the significant proportion of our population that suffers from mental illness at one time or another I'd have said it was perfectly reasonable to have 'yet another' mental illness storyline. Stuff happens and it's all around us.

    For what it's worth I think the Darrell storyline has been done really well - rather too realistically for my taste as I'd always hoped he'd end up with Tracey. She would have sorted him out good and proper, he would have returned to being a useful and productive member of society, Tracey's children would have loved having a stepdad in place of that bloke whose name I've forgotten and they could all have been very happy. Ah, now I see the problem.

 

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