Huntsman appeals badger sett conviction


A hunt monitor has told a court how he watched a terrierman dig out a badger sett as he flushed out a fox.

Hunt observer Edmund Shephard hid on a bridleway behind a stone wall as he shot 31 minutes of video in which huntsman Andrew Bellamy and a colleague dug furiously in a field on the edge of Dartmoor before allegedly shooting a fox.

Mr Shephard told Exeter Crown Court he saw Bellamy using a detector device attached to a terrier’s collar to track the movement of the dog underground.

He then pulled the terrier from the hole he had just dug while his colleague appeared to shoot a fox in the field at Bridford, near Newton Abbot.

The monitor claimed Bellamy and a colleague blocked up entrances to the badger sett as they dug out and killed the fox.

Bellamy, 40, of The Kennels, Sampford Spiney, near Yelverton, denies two offences of interfering with a badger sett.

He is appealing against his conviction under the Protection of Badgers Act by South Devon Magistrates a year ago, where he was fined £500 with £500 costs and a £15 surcharge.

He says it is a case of mistaken identity and he is not the man in the film. He also argues that the earth dug out was not an active badger sett.

He says he was identified wrongly because he and his wife Clare had recently been featured in Horse and Hound magazine because she was Master of the Spooners and West Dartmoor Hunt.

Kerry Barker, prosecuting, said Bellamy was filmed while out on a quadbike with the Denbury-based South Devon Foxhounds in April 2010.

Mr Barker said: “The court will hear of two men whose behaviour was consistent with having introduced a terrier into the ground.

“The witnesses saw the men digging at different locations in the same small area and then pull out a terrier, after which a shot was heard.

Mr Barker said Bellamy was identified from images found on the internet by Paul Tillsley, the second hunt observer from the League Against Cruel Sports, and picked out by both monitors in an identification procedure.

Mr Shephard said he had already been filming the hunt for more than four hours before he came across two men near a quadbike.

He showed Recorder Mr Malcolm Gibney more than 30 minutes of hidden footage.

The film showed the men walking around, putting their heads to the ground, using what looked like a detector device, and finally starting to dig a large hole.

They then listened again and moved a few feet away before digging a second hole from which one pulled out a terrier.

Mr Shephard said: “We were quite close to Tottiford Reservoir watching a field next to Clampitt House. I saw a man in a camouflage jacket using a detector and lying down.

“The other man took a terrier out of the hole and put it on his shoulder and I then heard a crack like a shot and they then filled in the hole.

“I think they were digging for a fox because the two men were associated with the fox hunt in the area. I assumed what they had shot was a fox.”

Mr Shephard said he saw something being taken back to the quadbike which he thought may be a dead fox and the two men then leave.

He and his colleague then went to the scene of the diggings and found a dead badger, although no evidence it had been killed by the two men.

Under cross-examination he denied that his identification of Bellamy may have been influenced by seeing his picture in Horse and Hound three months earlier.

The appeal continues.

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Huntsman-appeals-badger-sett-conviction/story-15361673-detail/story.html

 

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One thought on “Huntsman appeals badger sett conviction

  1. These evil bastards that hunt and shoot are the biggest liars on the planet, the excuses they come up with is laughable. Why the hell can’t these evil scum leave the wild life alone, is has been proven over and over again that the wild life never over breed, so the more you kill the more they breed, I guess this is what these cretins want so there will always be some poor animal they want to murder It really is time that hunting shooting and fishing were all banned full stop, there is absolutely no need and no exscuse to murder innocent animals. I wish these hunting and shooting murderers would go and shoot each other and rid us of all this scum.

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