Man accused of ‘cock and bull story’ in defence of digging up badger sett charge


A terrier man accused of wildlife offences and hunt supporters who acted as witnesses at his trial told a “cock and bull story” in his defence, a court has heard.

Andrew Bellamy, 39, of Sampford Spiney, has denied two charges of damaging and interfering with a badger sett near Beacon Farm, Bridford last year, while laying a trail for the South Devon Hunt.

Bellamy disputes he was one of the two men secretly filmed digging out a terrier by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) on April 7, despite being picked out of a police identity parade by two of its members.

Bellamy told South Devon Magistrates yesterday that he had laid three trails for the hounds on foot that day, using an oil-based scent, but had been driving his distinctive Land Rover, not the quad bike pictured in the footage.

Under cross-examination, the Shropshire-born countryman said he had previously told police he had been on the quad that day – owned by the South Devon Hunt – because he had been confused.

“I was bewildered really.”

Summing up the prosecution, Kerry Barker QC accused Bellamy of a “cock and bull” defence story and said that the witnesses showed up the “obvious frailties” in the defence case, adding: “I don’t say they are dishonest, I say they are not reliable.”

Sara-Lise Howe, defending, said the case was based on “lousy images” taken by covert monitors, “not endorsed by law”.

She accusing Edmund Shephard, an investigations officer for League Against Cruel Sports and hunt saboteur, of having known Mr Bellamy before the ID parade where he picked him out.

Magistrates deliver their verdict on February 1.

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/news/Trial-told-terrier-man-s-frail-defence/article-3128769-detail/article.html

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