THE woman in control of the dog that mauled Freddie the seal is an Oxford-educated lawyer living in a £5.8million home, it has been revealed.
Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC, 49, is said to live with her husband William, 57, not far away from Hammersmith Bridge, where the incident took place.
Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC
The dog mauls Freddie the seal to death on the banks of the River ThamesCredit: Duncan Phillips
Members of the public rushed to help separate the two animalsCredit: Duncan Phillips
This is the shocking moment a beloved seal was savagely mauled by a dogCredit: Duncan Phillips
Cops were earlier hunting for the owner of the dog who mauled a beloved seal to death on the River Thames.
Freddie the Seal, named after Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, was put down after the horrific attack on Sunday.
Freddie shot to fame after entertaining walkers on the bank of the Thames in West London for weeks.
Shocking pictures show a dog latched on to one of the seal’s flippers as walkers and cyclists, including a vet, rushed to its aid near Hammersmith Bridge.
Onlookers stayed with Freddie until emergency services arrived, but last night South Essex Wildlife Hospital confirmed he had to be put down.
Ms Sabben-Clare studied at New College Oxford and was named a leading English silk in the 2021 Legal 500 Directory, the Mail Online reports.
Her dad, James, was also the headmaster of Winchester College – a top boarding school for boys – from 1985 to 2000.
Ms Sabben-Clare is now a specialist in commercial law and has been described as ‘incredibly bright’ and ‘very talented’.
The Met Police today confirmed they wish to speak to the owner of the dog following the incident.
A spokesperson told The Sun Online: “Officers are looking to identify witnesses and to speak to the owner of the dog involved.
“The RSPCA has been informed.”
The owner of a dog who attacks farm animals can be fined up to £1,000, rising to £2,500 if the offence is deliberate.
Similar fines apply to attacks on wild animals – but offences related to hunting can see penalties of up to £5,000 imposed.
A woman was later seen carrying what appeared to be the same dog near Hammersmith Bridge in West London – but it is not clear if she is the owner.
Freddie the Seal was put down after the attackCredit: South Essex Wildlife Hospital via Facebook
Freddie’s flipper was fractured and the joint dislocatedCredit: South Essex Wildlife Hospital via Facebook
South Essex Wildlife Hospital treated the seal
Brits took to Twitter to pay tribute to Freddie following his death.
Josh Fraser wrote: “RIP #freddietheseal people who own dogs that attack people/wildlife should be banned from owning pets for life, first a dear in Richmond park, now a poor seal in Hammersmith, when will it stop?
“When a child dies? Will they just fine the owner and move on? This needs to be fixed.”
Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former director of communications, wrote: “So sad to hear that the beautiful seal that took up residence near Hammersmith Bridge had to be put down after being savaged by a dog.
“There were signs up asking dog walkers to keep them on leads.”
British Divers Marine Life Rescue confirmed last night: “We are all devastated at the loss of ‘Freddie’ today.
“So many people tried to help him but his injuries were too severe.
“Marine mammal experts were consulted but all ended with the same conclusion, he was put to sleep late this afternoon.”
A photographer who was taking pictures of Freddie when the attack happened said it was “vicious”.
Duncan Phillips, 55, told MyLondon: “The dog just wouldn’t let go.
“It wouldn’t let go despite repeated attempts by members of the public to separate the animals.”
The dog latched on to one of the seal’s flippersCredit: South Essex Wildlife Hospital via Facebook
Freddie had become a local celebrity in BarnesCredit: Splash
The vet who came to the seal’s aid was bitten three times by terrified Freddie while trying to hold him.
A male cyclist was “headbutted” by the seal as he tried to hold him still.
Now animal lovers on social media have slammed the dog’s owner after the brutal attack.
One wrote: “I hope this owner is dragged into court. Sick to death of seeing these horrendous attacks.
“Stop making excuses for these dogs and irresponsible owners. Thankful for those who helped.
Another added: “The owner needs to be brought before the courts and fined. Then made to pay for Freddie’s veterinary bills and rehabilitation.”