Estranged wife of Botham’s son quizzed over missing dog

THE estranged wife of Sir Ian Botham’s son has been arrested in connection with an alleged dog-napping case in North Yorkshire.

Woody, a 15-month-old sprocker spaniel vanished from an enclosed courtyard next to the ex-cricketer and broadcaster’s farmhouse in Ravensworth, near Richmond, on Sunday afternoon.

The dog, which is a springer spaniel/cocker spaniel cross, has a chocolate brown coat and white neck and belongs to Emma Sayle, the girlfriend of Sir Ian’s son, Liam.

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Miss Sayle, who runs an adult dating service called Killing Kittens, said: “It has been an absolute nightmare, we just want to get Woody back. It is good to know an arrest has been made, but we still don’t know where Woody is and I would just ask anyone who knows anything to come forward.”

Miss Sayle was with her boyfriend at the Botham family home for the weekend when Woody was last seen on the property’s CCTV camera. A £2,000 reward has been offered for the dog’s safe return.

Liam, a former professional rugby player, is currently in the final stages of getting a divorce from his estranged wife, Sarah-Jayne Botham.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed yesterday that a 37-year-old woman had been arrested in County Durham in connection with the missing dog.

The estranged couple have three children and Mrs Botham still lives in their former marital home in North Yorkshire, which is owned by Sir Ian.

Sir Ian’s youngest daughter, Becky Armstrong, 26, took the telephone call from North Yorkshire Police to learn that an arrest had been made.

She said: “It is heartbreaking for Liam and Emma. Woody has been coming up to visit in North Yorkshire for over a year now, and he is simply not the sort of dog who would wander off. We are all keeping our hopes up that he will be found safe and well.”

North Yorkshire Police confirmed yesterday that the dog is still missing.

Mrs Botham did not return calls made by the Yorkshire Post yesterday.