WILLS SCARED LIFE OUT OF US WITH SHOTGUN BLASTS IN THE NIGHT Apr 17 2004
Exclusive Artist plans court action over lost cat
By Bob Dow
ANGRY cat-owner Jeshiera Art told last night how she found a gun-toting Prince William outside her home. She claimed she ran from the remote cottage to confront a shooting party and was stunned to see her pet cat caught in a spotlight as shots were fired.
Terrified ginger tom cat Dream disappeared in the incident on Wednesday night and artist Jeshiera, known to her friends as Jazz, has not seen him since.
Last night, she claimed the shooting outside her home had been 'like a war zone'.
And she was even more shocked when she recognised one of the party as William.
Last night, she accused the prince, who was in a LandRover driven by royal gamekeeper Robbie Elliot, of blasting off his gun near her front door.
Jeshiera said: 'It had gone 11 when there was this huge bang.
'It was like a war going on out there. The dogs were going crazy. There was a lamp hining on the house.'
She added: 'I opened the front door and I couldn't believe that the LandRover was just outside.
'They were shining a lamp on my cat. I couldn't believe it. I shouted at them, 'That's my cat.' And there were a couple of shots.
'The last time I saw my cat, it was still standing. Where it is now, I have no idea.'
Crime She added she had reported the prince and Elliot to Grampian Police, who investigated and decided there had been no crime.
But she says she will take the matter further, even it means a private prosecution. She is meeting her lawyers again next week.
The 34-year-old added: 'My lawyers say there is enough for breach of the peace and reckless discharge of a firearm. I want to press charges against Prince William and Robbie Elliot. Even it is Prince William, so what?
'I don't want an apology, I want my cat back.'
Last night, Buckingham Palace admitted the prince who will represent Scotland at the British universities water polo tourney in Cardiff today had been on the shooting trip but denied any cat had been shot.
The late-night expeditions are 'lamping' trips in which a 1000watt light is shone on rabbits, dazzling them and allowing a gunman to shoot them.
Jeshiera and the friend who shares the cottage, Rick Anderson, 42, said the incident was not their first clash with the royals.
Rick, a sculptor, said he had previously found the same gamekeeper with William and his brother Harry outside his home at Strathgirnoc, Crathie, close to the royal residences at Birkhall and Balmoral.
He said after Wednesday's incident, he confronted Elliot and the prince 20 yards from the front door.
He added: 'I stopped at the bottom of the track when I went down to check the horses were OK. I said to Robbie Elliot, 'Do you realise what havoc you have caused up there?' 'He said, 'Come on, we are just doing our job'. Prince William was sitting next to him not saying a bloody word.'
He added: ' It was dark but there is no doubt it was the prince and he was wearing a head warmer.
'The prince just sat there with his head down. That was just the same as last year when both princes were there and they kept quiet like naughty schoolboys.'
Searching The pair have spent the last two days searching the countryside for their two-year-old pet.
Jeshiera said she heard shots and saw a gun pointed out of the Land-Rover's passenger window. Both she and Rick said Elliot was driving, with William in the passenger seat.
Police were contacted the following morning, Jeshiera said.
She added: 'When I spoke to the police they said, 'Well, with who Robbie was with last night I don't think he would be shooting cats.' Robbie Elliot came up the next morning and said he didn't want enemies around here.
'I told him if I find my cat with a bullet in it, I am taking this all the way . It's disgusting they think they can shoot at anything that moves. ' A Record reporter visited the scene yesterday and recovered a .310 gun cartridge and a .308 brass bullet shell Rick rents the farmhouse from Abergeldie estate. Balmoral has sporting rights for Abergeldie and keepers are allowed to shoot on it and keep down pests.
A police spokesman said: 'We received a complaint about shooting near a house. The complaint was investigated and no crime detected.'
A palace spokeswoman said: 'The gamekeeper was conducting pest control.
'As soon as he realised he was disturbing a neighbour, he stopped. He is aware of the neighbour's concern about her missing cat. However,there is absolutely no evidence that a cat was killed.'
She added: 'William accompanied the gamekeeper during the shoot.'