Homeless horse owner charged over car crash

02:11, May 26 2014
Richard Hayden's horse Beautifoal
FAMILIAR CITY SIGHT: Beautifoal is one of two horses Richard Hayden was seen with on the night of the accident.

Horse owner Richard James Hayden has been charged with endangering people's safety by letting a horse roam in Christchurch city on a night when it was hit by a car and killed.

Hayden, 46, is charged with leaving his horse without reasonable excuse in Christchurch city "which in the absence of care was likely to cause injury, with reckless disregard for the safety of others".

Police allege the horse was running loose on a busy road about 7.45pm on April 7 when it was struck by a car driving down the Brougham Street ramp, near the intersection of Collins Street. A witness said the horse had been "loose and terrified" at the time of the crash.

Vaughn Bennet
WRITE-OFF: Vaughn Bennet inspects the damage to his car after hitting a horse that was running loose on Brougham St.

The driver, Vaughn Bennet, received minor injuries but his car was a write-off. Police said the horse had to be put down. Read the initial news article.

Hayden was often seen around Christchurch with two horses, one named Beautifoal, after moving to the city from Blenheim.

Police said a man had been seen with two horses around Poulson Street, Addington, on the evening of the crash. He was riding one horse and leading the other.

Richard Hayden
RICHARD HAYDEN: Police arrested Richard Hayden in Blenheim in 2012 because his horse was running loose in Horton Park.

Hayden, who has no fixed abode, was remanded on bail and granted a registrar's remand without plea to reappear at the Christchurch District Court on June 10.


The Press