Three members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association were yesterday found not-guilty of Aggravated Trespass after a three day trial at Newark Magistrates Court. They had been monitoring the Grove and Rufford Foxhounds, in November last year, to ensure compliance with the Hunting Act.
It was suspected that the hunt had been hunting live foxes. At least one fox had been seen running from the hunt that day.
The defendants exercised their lawful right not to supply their details to police but were then arrested and prosecuted.
After two days of prosecution evidence material came to light that showed prosecution witnesses, including police officers, had lied under oath and the case was dismissed.
During his summing up the District Judge expressed his displeasure with the Crown Prosecution Service for allowing the case to come to trial and demanded answers from them about why this decision had been made.
Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: This ridiculous court case has wasted a huge amount of public funds. This money should have been used by the police and Crown Prosecution Service to enforce the Hunting Act rather than persecuting innocent people.
We hope Nottinghamshire Police learn from this verdict and start to focus their resources on the real criminals who continue to illegally chase and kill wildlife.