Convicted Hunt Supporters

Ian Randell, the son of The Badsworth Foxhounds huntsman, was convicted of actual bodily harm to a Sheffield sab.

Supporter of the Enfield Chase FoxhoundsGeorge Adair convicted of criminal damage to a sab vehicle and ordered to pay a £100 fine and £60 costs. On a charge of assault on sabs the jury were unable to come to a unanimous decision so the judge decided for them, finding Adair not guilty despite the evidence of six sab witnesses, a detective constable, a sergeant, an inspector and a superintendent regarding his alleged violent behaviour.

Martin Philips ‘sympathies’ towards the hunt were so inflamed by the sight of two HSA sweatshirts, that he attacked the people inside them, leaving one requiring stitches to his face. Philips was fined £325, and ordered to pay £25 to each of his victims, as well as £19 damages for breaking a pair of spectacles.

Maurice Bell who is the Master of The Wensleydale Foxhounds convicted of assault and actual bodily harm on two saboteurs, one of which he knocked unconscious and left needing stitches. A female sab was also dragged over a barbed wire covered wall. Bell was fined a total of £150.

Andrew Smith, a senior civil servant with the Dept. Of Agriculture, his daughter Lorna and son Derek, all members of the Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Foxhounds along with Andrew Crowe and Malcolm Dick, were all convicted of charges of breach of the peace and assault. Each of the five was fined £400. They also had a failed appeal.

Supporters of the Puckeridge Foxhounds, Ronald Edwards and his son Steven, bound over for a year by the sum of £200 after an incident in which a sab was beaten unconscious. Another hunt heavy was also fined £100 with £303.41 costs and compensation for damage caused to a saboteur’s car, when he crushed it with his own.

William Bolton, Paul Hawkes And David Lynne, supporters of The Tynedale Foxhounds, all bound over to keep the peace for 2 years in the sum of £200, after a vicious and unprovoked attack on a Tyneside sab. Bolton also admitted a further charge of criminal damage for which he was fined £50 with £24.41 compensation.

Roger Howarth, a whipper-in for The Linlithgow and Stirlingshire Foxhounds found guilty of damaging a cb radio belonging to Edinburgh sabs. He was ordered to pay the group the princely sum of £10 for a new one.

Albrighton Foxhounds Huntsman, Nigel Cox, convicted of firearms offences and given a 3 year suspended prison sentence after he blew a hole in the radiator of an occupied sab minibus with a shotgun. He was also given a conditional discharge for assault (he had struck a sab with the gun) and criminal damage to a camera. No damages were paid to sabs.

South Dorset Foxhounds Kennelman Nicholas Stevens and two of his friends all bound over to keep the peace after an incident when 3 sabs were cornered in a field and attacked.

Paul Connolly attacked a sab with a pickaxe handle, beating him while he lay on the ground. Fined £500 for assault.

Paul Willingale was sentenced to 6 months in prison for a vicious attack on Eddie Coulson who was attending his first sab at the Waterloo Cup hare coursing event. As a consequence Mr Coulson, who needed emergency surgery to remove bone splinters & a blood clot, suffered a fractured skull & is left afflicted by epileptic fits.

Thomas Smith and Jeffery Cook, supporters of The Bicester and Whaddon Chase Foxhounds bound over for 1 year for breach of the peace after an incident which left the back window of a sab’s car completely smashed. The prosecution dropped charges of criminal damage and section 4.

Robert Rous, Master Of Hounds and David Trotman, Kennel Huntsman of The Waveney Harriers both bound over to keep the peace after an incident when a hunt saboteur had to be taken to hospital following repeated lashing from a riding crop. The C.P.S. attempted to drop the case after medical evidence was ‘lost’, and witnesses weren’t called.

Denis Lough-Scott, a Heythrop Foxhounds supporter fined £50 for actual bodily harm on a hunt protester.

Neil Coleman, First Whip And Kennel Hand Of The Cottesmore Foxhounds, fined £300 and £10 cost after knocking an old lady off her bike, breaking bones and failing to stop, whilst driving the hunt fleshwagon back from an evening down the pub.

Allan Summersgill

Edward Vickery of The Quantock Staghounds, convicted of assault after riding down and attacking a saboteur. Fined £600

Duncan Branch, a subscriber to The Chiddingfold, Leconfield And Cowdray Foxhounds found guilty of attacking 2 saboteurs with his fists and a riding crop. Fined £400 with £250 costs and was ordered to pay £50 compensation to each of his victims.

Mark Evans, whipper-in to The Hampshire Hunt, loses a private prosecution brought by a saboteur he had beaten with his whip. Found guilty of assault.

Bloodsports fanatic Jim Newbury Street jailed for nine months after planting a bomb under his own landrover in an attempt to discredit sabs.

Francis Momber, the Former Master Of The Hampshire Hunt, given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £175 compensation for smashing the windows on three sides of a saboteur’s vehicle. Flying glass cut the drivers hand and another occupant’s mouth.

Justin Ellis, Matthew Jones and Charles Peach, all supporters of The Chiddingfold, Leconfield And Cowdray Foxhounds, found guilty of affray after Ellis rammed the back of a sab landrover, and Jones And Peach attacked it, breaking several windows. Ellis was fined £400 and banned from driving, while the others were each fined £250.

Holderness Foxhounds Huntsman, William Deakin, convicted of criminal damage to a sab van and given a conditional discharge.

Gary Whelbrand, an Albrighton Foxhounds supporter, found guilty of fracturing a saboteur’s jaw in two places and perforating his eardrum, after Whelbrand jumped the sab from behind, dragging him to the ground in an unprovoked attack. He was convicted of ABH, and was fined £250 with costs and £75 compensation.

Atherstone Foxhounds supporter convicted of assault and fined £200, with £138 costs and £60 compensation.

Vale Of White Horse Foxhounds Whipper-In, Matthew Calcot was ordered to pay £130 compensation and was bound over for a year for the sum of £100 after the windscreen of oxford HSA’S van was smashed.

The South And West Wilts. Foxhound’s Kennelman sacked after being convicted of section 4 of the public order act. He had violently rocked a sab’s car with people inside. He was also convicted of drink driving at the time.

Stephen Thayne, Whipper-In To The Chiddingfold Foxhounds, convicted of assault and battery after riding down a group of saboteurs. Given one years conditional discharge and ordered to pay £170 costs.

New Forest Terrierman, Keith Colbert and hunt supporter Adrian Bungay, both given conditional discharges after a hunt saboteur was attacked during a meet of the hunt. At the time of writing Colbert is wanted by police for an alleged racial attack on a mixed-race hunt monitor.

Nigel Trevithick-Wood, husband of an Old Surrey And Burstow Foxhounds Joint Master, received a 6 month suspended sentence for punching a sab in the face at a cubbing meet. In a related incident 1st whipper-in (now huntsman) Mark Bycroft was also found guilty of assault and ordered to do community service.

Back To The Top

Keith Nobbs, New Forest Foxhounds Terrierman and Nick Stevens (again), South Dorset Foxhounds Kennelman, both fined £200 for criminal damage to a sab vehicle. The car, with sabs inside it, had been overturned at a meet of the South Dorset Foxhounds.

John Funnell, Master Of The Surrey Union Foxhounds found guilty of ABH on Brixton saboteur. The sab needed stitches to a serious head wound and was left scarred for life after Funnell rode his horse over him twice. He was given a 2 month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years.

Kenneth Banks, foot follower of The Old Surrey And Burstow Foxhounds received a 12 month suspended sentence for punching a saboteur in the groin.

Francis Momber (again) found guilty of criminal damage to a Portsmouth sab landrover. He was given a 1 year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 costs and £175 compensation.

2 followers of The South Dorset Foxhounds convicted of criminal damage after over-turning a saboteur’s car – with sabs inside it! They were ordered to pay compensation to the car’s owner

Hunt supporters Adrian Bungay (again) and Keith Corbett (again), both given conditional discharges for 1 year after an attack on two Southampton saboteurs. Both men had to pay costs and compensation to their victims.

Quorn Foxhounds employee Timothy Taylor found guilty of possessing an unlicensed shotgun. Fined £100 with £37 costs.

Pro-hunt farmer, Mark Fuller, attacked an Anglia TV reporter out with local saboteurs, at a cubbing meet of the west Norfolk Foxhounds. After assaulting the reporter, fuller proceeded to destroy two video cameras and smashed a van’s windscreen. He was convicted of affray and 3 counts of criminal damage. He was ordered to pay £1050 in fines, £1463 in compensation and £150 costs – a total of £2663.

Richard and Thomas Cheshire, both hunt marshals, found guilty of affray and assault causing actual bodily harm after they attacked a car containing observers, smashing the windscreen before overturning the vehicle down an embankment. Two of the passengers were repeatedly punched and an attempt was made to drag one man through the broken windscreen. They were fined a total of £2049, including £100 towards the repair of a damaged video camera.

Richard Cheshire, (again) and Bicester and Whaddon Chase Foxhounds Kennelman, Michael Smith both sent to prison for 2 months after a sab was pushed in front of a speeding quad bike. The case was successful because for the first time, sabs had video footage of the incident.

On the 3rd of April 1993, Tom Worby was crushed under the wheels of the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds hound van. No action was taken against the driver of the hound van huntsman Alan ball.

William Howells, forestry commission worker and supporter of The New Forest Buckhounds found guilty of smashing a video camera belonging to The New Forest Animal Protection Group. Ordered to pay £443 compensation and given a 12 month conditional discharge.

Kenneth Mansbridge, a supporter of The Hursley Hambledon Foxhounds, convicted of unlawful wounding on a green party researcher, who needed hospital treatment for serious head wounds after being kicked and beaten by a group of hunt followers 1991. Mansbridge admitted kicking the victim in the groin and punching him to the ground. (on the same day, another protester was beaten around the head with a spade, and left needing 10 stitches and a 6 and a half months pregnant woman was hit on the head with half a brick, needing 4 stitches). Mansbridge was sentenced to 140 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £150.

John Stride, a rider with the New Forest Buckhounds, found guilty of assault on a saboteur (with his whip). Also convicted on a related charge of criminal damage. Fined £25 for the assault with a further £25 for damaging a map.

Christopher R G Nichol, hired steward, admitted assault on a female Pickering hunt sab, who suffered cuts and bruises. Fined £370 after admitting in court that he ‘lost his temper’.

Edward Lycett-Green of the Portman Foxhounds, was given a 12 month conditional discharge for criminal damage. Originally 5 hunt followers including Lycett-Green were charged with various charges of affray, violent disorder, assault and theft after an incident when a blocked-in sab landrover had its windows smashed, a camera was smashed and stolen and the occupants, including a local reporter, were attacked. Unbelievably, at the trial the cps refused to offer any evidence for the affray and violent disorder charges and only Lycett-green was convicted. Patricia Harris, a rider with the Portman Foxhounds, convicted of criminal damage to sab property and given a conditional discharge.

Roger Wakefield, Essex and Farmers Union Terrierman, given 160 hours community service after being found guilty of violent disorder and affray against saboteurs. Hunt supporter, Bryn Chittenden was also convicted of the same offences and given 120 hours community service.

A supporter of the Cumberland Foxhounds attacked a photographer with a spade handle, after the photographer took the balaclava-wearing thug’s picture. He was fined £200 for assault.

The chairman of the Essex Foxhounds and two of his hired stewards paid a total of £1053 in damages to three L.A.C.S. officials, after the stewards had forcibly removed them from land. The L.A.C.S. people were pushed around and threatened by the hired thugs.

Paul Martin attacked a sab repeatedly at a joint meet of The South Dorset Foxhounds and the Cattistock Foxhounds. He pleaded guilty to ABH and was only given a conditional discharge, as no medical evidence was given.

Andrew Pearce head-butted the camcorder being used by a L.A.C.S. monitor because he mistook him for a sab. The monitor receives bruises and a swollen lip as a result. Pearce was convicted of assault and given a 2-year conditional discharge.

Bramham Moor Foxhounds supporter Raymond Walker attacked saboteurs with a scythe!, Leaving two with head wounds, and a van’s windows smashed. He was convicted of affray along with two other hunt Supporters Mr & Mrs Winstanley, and criminal damage. All three were given community service orders.

Leading supporter of The Surrey Union Foxhounds, Noel Cahill, arrested in November after an attack on saboteurs left one hospitalised. Police searching his home found a death threat ready to be posted to the HSA press officer

Anthony Kirkham, supporter of the Cheshire Foxhounds, received a 12 month prison sentence (suspended on appeal) for attacking a lone female sab who had gone to get help after the sab van had been attacked by hunt heavies. When Kirkham caught up with her, he beat and kicked her to the ground. More on him later.

Amateur Whip Of The New Forest Foxhounds, John Mitchell found guilty of careless driving after sandwiching a Southampton saboteur between a van and a landrover, running over the sab’s foot and hitting him with the wing mirror. A police officer witnessed the incident. Fined £180 and £150 costs and 7 penalty points on his licence.

Back To The Top

John Edward Wedmore, Terrierman For The Mendip Farmers Foxhounds found guilty of 3 counts of assault after he launched an attack on three L.A.C.S. monitors. (unbelievably, a L.A.C.S. monitor’s tabard was shown to the court to prove that the monitors could not have been mistaken for hunt saboteurs – implying that Wedmore might have had justification for attacking sabs!)

Adrian Thompson was found not guilty of being involved in an attack on Dorset HSA’s van while they were attending a meet of the Crawley and Horsham Foxhounds. Two sabs had been subjected to a furious assault and the van had been pushed into a ditch and its windows smashed. During the trial Thompson seemed to lay the blame firmly on a mysterious acquaintance ‘Wayne’ who has never been traced.

Surrey Union Foxhounds Supporter, Gary John Moore, pleaded guilty to two charges of common assault and affray after an unprovoked attack on local saboteurs outside a pub. At the time of his arrest police had to drag him off his victim, who had already been beaten to the ground. Even while he was restrained Moore attempted to kick the saboteur in the head. He was fined £500

David Woolley, Joint Master Of The Cheshire Foxhounds, cautioned after making a 2am phone call to the NW regional rep. Of the L.A.C.S. he was said to have threatened ‘I’m going to kill you, bitch!’

3 supporters of The Vale Of Clettwr Foxhounds bound over to the keep the peace for a year after an incident when a sab van was surrounded and the driver dragged out and held upside down. Terrierman Emyr Davies and supporters John Galmore Jones and John Geraint Owens denied violent disorder and the theft of 6 items of sab equipment.

Christopher Rooke (37) of Newton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire who is an amateur terrierman with the York and Ainsty South Foxhounds was fined £750 with £60 costs by Easingwold magistrates after admitting interfering with a badger sett. The incident happened during a meet of the York and Ainsty South. A local landowner who had fenced off an area of his land which contained a badger sett, felt the fewer people who knew about the it the better. However, later that day the landowner noticed the fence had been broken down and somebody was digging up the sett. Rooke who has 20 years experience an amateur terrierman did not believe it was a sett, he thought it was a rabbit warren, and was told there was a fox down it and it was his job to get the fox out. Mr Darwin, mitigating said: “It wasn’t his intention to harm the badger or the sett and he has expressed his remorse”.

On 9/8/96 Penrith magistrates found Edwin Russell Dickinson (38) of Town Head Road, Cotehill, Carlisle, who is the terrierman for the Cumberland Farmers Foxhound guilty of interfering with a badger sett by causing a dog to enter it, and Peter James McColgan (30) of The Kennels, Welton, Dalston, who is the amateur huntsman for the Cumberland Farmers Foxhounds guilty of aiding and abetting Dickinson in interfering with a badger sett by causing a dog to enter the sett. The magistrates heard that the Cumberland Farmers were out hunting near Penrith when McColgan found that a fox had gone down a hole, he then called over Dickinson. The holes were then blocked and some nets were put over other entrances, a terrier was then entered the holes. Both men admitted in interviews that they had put a terrier down but said the contentious issue was whether they were signs of the sett being an active one. After a trial lasting nearly three days the magistrates found the pair guilty and they were fined £150 each with £250 costs.

Wooton Bassett magistrates heard how Richard Lovett (41) of Meysey Hampton, Cirencester, Gloucestershire blocked up a sett in readiness for hunting the following day. Lovett is the terrierman for the Vale of White Horse Foxhounds, based at Meysey Hampton. Lovett (who is also a former gamekeeper and Gloucestershire Area Representative for the Fell and Moorland Working Terrier Club) gave evidence for five hours, during which he totally denied having done anything wrong and said he had followed the Masters of Foxhounds Association rules diligently. Many witnesses were called in an attempt to persuade the court that blocking up the sett entrances with lumps of wet, heavy clay did not conflict with the Protection of Badgers Act, which dictates that if earth is used it must consist of ‘loose soil’. The trial lasted for 6 days after which Lovett was found guilty and fined £100. Lovett appeared at Swindon Crown Court to appeal against his conviction for illegally blocking a badger sett. The Crown Court rejected his appeal and decided that Lovett had committed the offence.

A hunt supporter of the Seavington Hunt who trespassed on a railway line was caught on camera and reported to the police by a member of League Against Cruel Sports. Yeovil magistrates heard on 8/8/96 how Bernard Martin (58) of New Close, Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset was filmed walking along the track with a number of others during a meet of the hunt. In his defence Martin said “He had been led to believe that checks had been done and no trains were running on that day. He had been doing what he did that day for many years. Ignorance of the law is no excuse but no-one ever stopped him”. Martin was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £20 costs, a charge of trespass against his sonPaul Martin (32) was dismissed at the request of the prosecution.

Dean John Richards (36 ) of Glebelands Villas, Bishops Nympton, Devon pleaded guilty to two charges of assault at Tiverton magistrates on 20/9/96. The court were told how two LACS sanctuary officers were monitoring the Tiverton Staghounds. During the day Richards had thrust himself through their car window, both the monitors inside were hit around the face and one video camera was damaged. In court, Richards claimed he had been given the task of getting between the hounds and the stag to stop them attacking it. Magistrates fined Richards £50 for each assault with £69 costs and ordered him to pay £25 to each of the victims.

On 25/10/96 John Mitchell (56) of Outlands Lane, Curdridge, Hampshire was found guilty of careless driving by New Forest magistrates. The court was told how Mitchell, who is the amateur whipper-in with the New Forest Foxhounds had sandwiched a hunt sab from Southampton between a van and a Land Rover. The incident happened when a sab was standing close to the side of a Land Rover when Mitchell drove past, the front wheel went over the sabs left foot and the wing mirror hit his shoulder, it was at this point when he was sandwiched between the two vehicles. The Southampton sab suffered a badly sprained ankle and other injuries. A police officer on duty at the time of the incident said other vehicles had found room to pass comfortably. Mitchell also claimed in court it was a “set-up”. The court imposed a fine of £180 with £150 costs and had seven penalty points put on his driving licence.

Back To The Top

Joanna Mary Scott (28) of Higher Cooksley, Upton, near Wiveliscombe, Somerset, daughter of Diana and Maurice Scott who are the joint masters of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds, was found not guilty by Minehead magistrates on 8/11/96 of chasing a stag with a Land Rover to stop it entering a sanctuary. Scott had denied the offence. She told the court she was following the deer to see where it went, and to prevent trespass by hounds onto sanctuary land.

Nicholas Grooby (22), of Paradise Lane, Old Dolby, Leicestershire (an unpaid terrierman for South Nottingham Foxhounds), Gary Pearson (34) of Souldern Way, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, David William Edwards (48) of Roughcoat Lane, Cavershall, Stoke-on-Trent and Mark John Hulme (33) of Ash Grove, Rode Heath, Stoke-on-Trent were all found guilty by Nottingham magistrates on 15/1/97 of attempting to take a badger, digging for badgers and interfering with a badger sett. The court heard how they were spotted by a local gamekeeper who had watched them digging at a well known badger sett. One of them had a dog locator scanner while another was poking a large metal spike into the ground. On 20/2/97 they were all sentenced to four months for attempting to take a badger, two months for digging for badgers and two months for interfering with a badger sett. All sentences are to run concurrently. They were also banned from keeping animals for 5 years. Following the appeal in July they all had their sentences reduced to 120 hours community service plus costs of either £400 or £500.

Alan Owen (48) of Glandwr Gwynfryn, Llanbedr, Gwynedd has lost his appeal for the revocation of his firearms licence. Owen, who is the Master/Huntsman of the Nantcol Valley Foxhounds, first appeared in court in March 1996 after he was accused of punching, kicking and threatening a farming neighbour. The court was told how Owen had threatened his neighbour with a knife after he had shot and wounded a hound which was trespassing in a field of sheep. At the time he admitted common assault, but denied the knife threat. The court ordered that his firearms certificate be taken away. In September 1996 he appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court to appeal against the revocation of his firearms certificate. The court heard he possessed a shotgun, but not used it since he was twelve, two rifles and a handgun. The local police opposed the appeal on the grounds that he was, in their opinion ‘not a fit person to possess firearms’. (In November 1993 Owen was convicted of unnecessary suffering to his pet lurcher by Blaenau Ffestiniog magistrates, he was fined £450 and had to pay costs of £2,227, he was also banned from keeping dogs for a year).

On 8/5/97 Leonard Durman-Walters (57) of Hyndlee, Bonchester, Scotland will stand trial for bird cruelty charges. Durman-Walters of the Scottish Academy of Falconry appeared before Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 10/4/97 accused of releasing a live cock pheasant at Falside on 18/9/96, which was taken and killed by a trained bird of prey under his control. He is also accused of causing unnecessary suffering and terror on the same day to a captive tethered pigeon, by using it as a live lure to attract birds of prey.

New Forest Foxhounds kennel huntsman Paul Woodhouse (46) of Romsey Road, Lyndhurst, Hampshire was described in court as Mr Cool lost his temper and struck a League Against Cruel Sports member with his whip. Lyndhurst magistrates heard on 23/4/97 how Woodhouse did not have a blemish on his character and had endured numerous provocative incidents over the years. However, when he was out with the hunt the court heard how he rode his horse at the LACS member and struck him twice across the head with a whip resulting in him ending up on the floor. At the time the LACS member was filming a fox being dug out after it had gone to ground. Woodhouse was said to be in pain after falling from his horse earlier on in the day was described as a very cool character, however, he could only remember striking only one blow. Woodhouse admitted common assault and was fined £75 and ordered to pay costs of £35 and £40 compensation.

A haulier was sentenced to four months in prison and banned from keeping any animal for five years after becoming the first man ever to be caught unlawfully transporting a live badger. Desmond Joseph Mackin (43) of Castle Lodge, Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland (formally an official representative of the Fell and Moorland Working Terrier Club) pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a badger and ill-treating a badger at Darlington magistrates on 6/10/97. Mackin was arrested by Durham police after being stopped in his lorry. Police requested RSPCA assistance after discovering a live badger tied up in a sack in the back of the lorry. Mackin had travelled to County Durham from Northern Ireland. An inspector of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, who assisted Durham police, said: “This is an extremely important case. It confirms our suspicions that badgers are being dug out and transported elsewhere for baiting. The badger was found tied up and covered in mud in the middle of the loaded wagon and we believe it had been driven all the way from Northern Ireland to be baited over here”. The badger was later found to be pregnant and after recovering from the ordeal gave birth to three cubs. After rehabilitation, the sow along with all the cubs were successfully released into the wild in the South of England.

Master Of The Cotswold Vale Farmers Foxhounds cautioned by police after an indecent assault was made on a young female saboteur.

Stephen Barnes, a rider with The South Notts Foxhounds, found to have deliberately ridden over a female saboteur, breaking her elbow and causing severe bruising, in a civil case brought by the saboteur. She was awarded £2,500 compensation. Barnes was apparently ‘banned’ from riding with the hunt after the incident in 1993.

Back To The Top

John Charles Kneale (58) of Westminster Drive, Bromborough, Wirral (terrier man for the Cheshire Foxhounds) and Peter Edge (28) of Hilbre Bank, Alpraham, Tarporley, Cheshire both walked free from Northwich magistrates on 31/10/97 after magistrates decided there was no case to answer over allegations of badger digging. Both were charged with disturbing a badger sett and causing a dog to enter a badger sett after the Cheshire Foxhounds had passed over the land earlier the same day. The farmer who owned the land said “I was approached by Kneale, he said a fox had run to ground during the hunt and would it be all right to dig it out. I gave him permission. I didn’t know they were going near where the badger sett.” They were then seen digging at the sett by forest workers, who then rang a badger protection group to report them.

Robert Venner (30) who is a farmer from the West Country was ordered to pay £4,000 compensation to the League Against Cruel Sports after a practical joke went wrong. Apparently Venner tried to pinch a flag from the L.A.C.S. stand at the 1997 Devon show, however, he found himself in trouble when he smashed an awning and broke a windscreen.

Elaine Boddington (36) of Stonehouse Lane, Peckforton, Cheshire (who is a member of the Cheshire Foxhounds) was found guilty of driving without due care and attention at Chester magistrates on 11/9/97. Boddington, who works for a public relations company called Written Image denied the offence. However, magistrates heard how a former traffic policeman was waiting to pick up his wife in the middle of Chester when he saw Boddington return to her car, which was parked between a Rover and a Maestro. The car only had a four feet space behind it. He then watched as she reversed sharply knocking into the bumper of the Maestro, pushing it down the road for about two feet, she then drove straight off. When interviewed by the police she repeated several times she had not had an accident. Boddington also added “This may be a malicious allegation because of my high profile activities with the Cheshire Hunt. My vehicle registration is very well known”. Magistrates fined her £200 with £200 costs and awarded her five penalty points. The court also heard she already had six points on her licence.

Farmhand Glen Norman (27) of Beverley, East Yorkshire was jailed for two-and-a-half years for wounding by Hull Crown court on 5/1/98. The court heard how he had punched Michael Wingfield Boyce (55) of Long Lane, Beverley, huntsman with the Holderness Hunt, while Boyce was on the ground Norman kicked him in the head, breaking his nose, cheekbone and blacking both eyes. The trouble erupted after Boyce’s lover Libby Merryless (37) and Norman’s wife Alison were seen fighting like wildcats on a stable floor. The court heard how Boyce had seduced Alison when she was 17 and began a 10-year affair with her. They both launched an equestrian business but fell out when she found him kissing her best friend Merryless. Alison Norman (28) of Wood End Farm, Rise near Long Riston was given 150 community service after admitting assault.

Builder John Black (41) from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire admitted assaulting gamekeeper John Hollingworth (52) at a social evening of the Pennine Foxhounds at Millbrook, Stalybridge. On 23/1/98 Ashton under Lyne magistrates fined him £150 with £150 compensation.

On 4/2/98 a fox hunt was cleared over allegations that it damaged a protected badger sett during an incident in which a pack of hounds swarmed through a country park. Police have decided to take no action against the Morpeth Huntfollowing an investigation into the incident. Police launched an investigation into allegations that a badger sett was damaged during the incident in which the huntsmen had to remove the hounds from the country park, where hunting is banned.  Northumberland County Council launched its own probe after claims the hounds chased foxes through the park three times in two hours. Hunting is not permitted in the park but there is an agreement that huntsmen can go in and remove hounds if they run into the area while chasing foxes. The agreement states that the hunt should retrieve their hounds as quickly as possible without disturbance to visitors or wildlife.

The huntsman of the Shamrock Harriers was fined £100 for cruelty to hounds in his care. The huntsman, claims that the hounds were ‘knackered’ after a hard season was not accepted by the court. (C.W. 20/2/98)

The Pytchley hunt have been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £820 for causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter a watercourse, after blood from animal carcasses drained into surface water drains rather than foul drains. Richard Payne, the hunt’s secretary and representative pleaded guilty to the charge. This is similar to an incident in 1996 when the West Norfolk Foxhounds were fined £5,000 with £449.29 costs after admitting knowingly permitting pollution of a stream.

Three men who threatened members of the South Dorset Anti-Blood Sports group at a hunt meeting in Somerset were sentenced by Yeovil magistrates. Bernard Martin (59) of Haselbury Plucknett, his son Paul Martin (33) of Dinnington, and Gordon Martin (51) of Haselbury Plucknett pleaded guilty to using threatening behaviour towards hunt protesters at a meet of the Cattistock Hunt. The court ordered Paul Martin to serve 80 hours community service and pay compensation of £50. Bernard Martin was fined £70 and Gordon Martin was given a six-month conditional discharge.

Rodney Ellis who is the joint master of the Tedworth Hunt escaped a driving ban after blaming his wife’s riding injury. Ellis (57) from Malborough, Wiltshire told Kennet magistrates on 1/5/98 how he drove home because his wife had fallen of her horse earlier in the day and could not drive home from a hunt dinner. One of the magistrates Lady Belinda Johnston (wife of Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant General, Sir Maurice Johnston) said “You had just cause in driving because this was a sufficient emergency”. When he was stopped by police Ellis was arrested after he refused to give a breath sample. However, he later agreed to provide on, which showed he was nearly twice over the legal limit. Magistrates imposed a fine of £450. Ellis appeared before Devizes magistrates after an Appeal Court ordered him to be re-sentenced. On 10/12/98 he was disqualified from diving for three years after police found he was twice over the legal limit.

Simon Williams (31) who runs the kennels of the South Devon Foxhounds was given a one-year conditional discharge and made to pay costs of £125 for threatening a hunt saboteur, but was cleared of charges of common assault and using a bar as an offensive weapon.

The joint master of the Duke of Beaufort Captain Ian Farquhar (53) appeared at Avon magistrates on 20/10/98. He pleaded guilty to allowing Cypermethin, which is used to treat mange in the hounds at the Beufort kennels to enter the river Avon. The pesticide killed around 10,000 endangered white clawed crayfish in the river.

Joint Masters of Crawley and Horsham Hunt, Anthony Sandeman (41) of Coombe Lane, Bolney, West Sussex and Philip Ghazala (40) of Shipley Road, Southwater, near Horsham intend to appeal against a court’s decision finding them guilty of damaging a hunt protester’s vehicle. Ghazala and Sandeman denied a charge of criminal damage to protesters car when they appeared at Mid Sussex Magistrates Court on 28/9/98. The incident happened after the protester and his partner monitor a hunt. The Crawley and Horsham Hunt had been cancelled and they travelled to the Petworth Hunt instead in another vehicle. When they returned later they noticed two males down the side of their vehicle. “One was standing up and looked as though he was writing on the side. The other one was behind him. When they were spotted they “hurried away very, very quickly” He said there was scratching along the near-side panel of his car and the paint was still blistering and flaking and the nearside tyre had been let down. Taped interviews with Ghazala and Sandeman were played to the court. Ghazala, managing director of Horse Health Products UK, said he and Sandeman had driven to Kent on that day for a hound parade, because the Crawley and Horsham Hunt had been held a day earlier. Sandeman had received information that there were “saboteurs” gathering in the area. Ghazala said he drove down the lane on his way back from Kent at approximately 4 to 4.30pm, where he let Sandeman out to “relieve himself” and to note down the registration numbers of any cars parked along the road. He stated that he never left the vehicle. Sandeman a farmer, said that they recognised the approaching car and so they drove off. The prosecution asked both men: “You were caught red-handed and that is why you are here today, is it not?” The reply of both men was: “No.” Magistrates fined Sandeman £300 with £250 costs and had to pay £58 compensation. Ghazala was also fined £300 with £250 with compensation.

A long-serving member of the Southern Regional Fisheries Board has resigned following his conviction for salmon poaching at Waterford Circuit Court on 29/7/98. John Doherty (66) of the Quay, Cheekpoint, Co Waterford, was fined £125 for salmon fishing in the River Suir during the closed season. His case was appealed to the Circuit Court by the Director of Public Prosecutions following dismissal in the District Court. Doherty told the court he had found five dead salmon in his weir. This was a most unusual occurrence which he had never seen in 40 years of fishing. However, the Judge said he could not ignore the coincidence that gardaí were waiting when Doherty found the dead fish, which suggested there was a history to the case. Defence counsel asked the judge to consider applying the Probation Act, as a conviction would mean Doherty would have to resign from the board. The Judge said he could not apply the Probation Act when a long-term member of the board was charged with an offence under the Fisheries Act. This, he said, would fly in the face of all reason and send out the wrong message from the court. Doherty tendered his resignation from the board at a meeting. The board chairman commended Doherty for turning up to the meeting to resign in person. However, a regional fisheries officer, said it was unacceptable for a board member to be treated so leniently when “ordinary” fishermen received much harsher punishments.

Back To The Top

Clive D Wenham, Joint Master Of The Bolebroke Beagles convicted of assault and abusive behaviour on a 63 year old woman, when she encountered the beagles on a road. Wenham coshed the woman over the head with his whip, knocking her to the ground. He was fined £1000 for the assault and £600 for the abusive behaviour.

Anthony Kirkham a Cheshire Foxhounds supporter was jailed for his part in what the judge described as the ‘cruel beating’ of a L.A.C.S. monitor. The man was chased across a field, sprayed in the face with a liquid, hit over the head with a bottle and repeatedly kicked in the head when he fell. Kirkham told the man, ‘we’ve got you now; you’re dead’ as he pulled him to his feet and ripped a camera worth £1,300 from his neck. Kirkham was jailed for 15 months.

Paul Martin and his father Bernard Martin convicted of affray and Paul’s uncle Colin Martin convicted of section 4 after they broke into the back of a sab van and attacked the occupants with spades and wooden staves. A sab photographing the event was dragged from the van and beaten while the family of thugs tried to remove his film.

Simon William’s Kennelman Of The South Devon Foxhounds, bound over for a year after being charged with threatening behaviour towards a sab (the kind of threatening behaviour that involves a 5 foot metal pole.)

The Huntsman Of The North Norfolk Harriers, Boyce Keeling successfully convicted of assault on a local saboteur, whom he beat with the handle of his whip.

Supporter of the Dunston Harriers, Patrick Everett managed to get the hunt banned from one village after he viciously attacked a party of 1 man, 2 women and four children who had stopped to watch the hunt pass by. He was fined £800.

Two hunt supporters who attacked a League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) cameraman filming a staghunt were jailed as an example to others. John William Bere (25) of Bishop’s Nympton, near South Molton, Devon, and Dean John Richards(38) of Bish Mill, South Molton, punched a anti-hunt supporter during a meet of the Quantock Staghounds at East Quantoxhead then took his video camera. They pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court on 15/1/99 to assault and theft and Richards was sentenced to six months jail while Bere was given a four month sentence. The judge heard how a wing mirror on the LACS members car was damaged while he was parked and colleagues told him Bere and Richards were responsible. When he approached them, Richards became aggressive and told him to turn of his camera. As he looked down, he felt a blow to the right side of his face and fell to the ground. When he got up he was struck on the other side and the camera was tugged from around his neck as he fell. Both men denied any offence at first and Richards said the LACS member had it in for him. Bere said he had never been in trouble before but had momentarily lost his temper and had lost his job as a result. He intends to continue supporting the hunt but a lesson has been very well learned. Richards said he was a countryman “through and through and hunting has been one of the most important things in his life. He has been a follower of the hunt for all of his adult life and allowed his love of hunting to rule his head.” He also admitted he had been involved in another incident with the LACS member in 1996.

A farmer has been found guilty of driving his Land Rover at a group of hunt protesters. Sampson Smith (45) of Church Lane, Ashington denied aiming his vehicle at the protesters. On 15/1/99 Chichester Crown Court heard how a police officer had witnessed the incident. He said Smith had sped at a group of protesters then shunted back and forth at the group of 30 people before getting out and brandishing a cane above his head. The jury convicted Smith of dangerous driving and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,184. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to retake a driving test before going back onto the road.

Georgina Blundell of Pasturo farm, Stadhampton, Oxfordshire who is a member of the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt was cautioned by the police following an incident with an anti-hunt protester. The incident happened at a her farm when Blundell hurt the protester with her horse.

Back To The Top

Spokesperson for the Irish Masters of Foxhounds Association James E Norton appeared in court on charges under the Control of Dogs Act. During an incident in February 1997 when the South Westmeath Harriers went out of control 12 sheep were killed and eight were injured.

An experienced gunman accused of blinding a grouse beater on a shoot has been found not guilty of wounding. Bradford Crown Court heard on 16/9/99 how Graham Hill from Bury had been beating when a bird was flushed out. Ian Brearleyfrom Ramsbottom fired as it flew towards the group. The trial was halted when the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

Geoffrey Allen (45) of The Pry, Frith Common, Menith Wood, near Bewdley used to produced articles for bloodsport magazines until he was jailed on 2/9/99 for four years after admitting buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency. The offences were committed against two 13-year-old boys.

On 14/2/00 the master and three other members of the Vale of Clettwr Hunt were cleared of interfering with a badger sett by destroying it. Hunt master David Lyn Lloyd (47) of Blaenpant Farm, Pencader and terriermen John Geraint Owen Thomas (48) of Gwarbistgwynwydd, Maesycrugiau, and Gethin Jones (46) of Gardde, Cwmdwyfran and foot follower John Gareth Jones (64) of Golygfa, Heol Gilfachwen, Llandysul had encroached without permission on to forestry land. Gethin Jones who said he had 30 years’ experience as a terrierman, dismissed a prosecution suggestion that he had disturbed an active badger’s sett and said he had walked around the area and had not seen any signs of setts. John Geraint Thomas said, “I have been a terrierman for over 30 years and there is no doubt in my mind that this was not a badger’s sett. I know there are active setts in the area but we couldn’t see these from where we were.”

At West Somerset magistrates on 12/5/00 Anthony Richard Wright, a huntsman of Exmoor Foxhounds pleaded guilty to an offence under the Specified Risk Material Order 1997 of feeding to hounds parts of a bovine carcase which contained SRM. Wright, who has been cautioned for a similar offence in September 1997, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £567 costs.

On 11/11/00 at Kidderminster magistrates Messrs James (a huntsman) and Mallard (a joint master of hounds) each pleaded guilty to two charges brought by Hereford and Worcester County Council of inadequate separation and staining of SBM contrary to the SBM Order. Mr James was fined £500 on each charge and ordered to pay £2,000 costs (total £3000). Mallard was fined £1,000 on each charge with £5,000 costs (total £7000).

Three men who were employed by one of Prince Charles’ favourite hunts appeared at Leicester Crown Court on charges relating to violent attacks on hunt saboteurs. Dean John Ironmonger (39) from Wysall, Notts; Kenneth Scott Rumph(22) from Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, Leics and Paul John Tomlinson (40) from Clifton, Nottingham faced on a range of charges relating to an incident which occurred at a meet of the Quorn Foxhounds on the 4/3/00. All three were employed as hunt stewards on the day. Sadly on 23/1/01 all three were cleared of attacking hunt sabs after a judge ruled court regulations had been broken. The case collapsed following legal arguments over abuse of process relating to the disclosure of photographs and video footage taken at the hunt. Tomlinson had denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm in relation to one saboteur. Ironmonger and Rumph had denied affray. Rumph was also charged with dangerous driving.

Huntsman Jonathan Broise (45) of Petworth, West Sussex, has been barred from becoming master of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt after being convicted of butting a disabled magistrate and punching another man at a point-to-point meeting. Horsham magistrates were told on 18/2/01 that Broise attacked Michael Halford, a company manager, in a hospitality tent and turned on Philip Everest, who walks with crutches, when the magistrate tried to intervene.

On 26/3/01 the huntsman of the New Forest Foxhounds was sent to prison for 8 weeks after being found guilty of assault following a trial at Lyndhurst magistrates. The case related to attack on a passing motorist in which Paul Woodhouse, huntsman with the New Forest Foxhounds since 1998, punched a motorist in the face during an incident at the hunt kennels. Giving evidence in court the Master of the New Forest Foxhounds stated that a custodial sentence may lead to the closure of the hunt, as the hounds only responded to Woodhouse, and that as exercising the hounds was now curtailed due to the Foot & Mouth outbreak no-one else could deal with them.

On 14/10/98 Tot Goodwin, Joint Master and Master of Foxhounds and huntsman for the Green Creek Hounds(N.C.), and Chip Andersonhuntsman for the Tryon Hounds (N.C.), pleaded guilty to illegally transporting foxes across state lines. Goodwin and Anderson bought 22 red foxes in South Carolina from federal undercover agents. It was reported that the two huntsmen were seeking to ensure good hunting at the week-long multiple-hunt joint meet. Their purchase was a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate transportation of illegally taken or possessed wildlife. The law’s purpose is to prevent the spread of such diseases as rabies, distemper and parasites. On 12/3/99 the American Masters of Foxhounds Association fined both hunts $1,000, placed each hunt on suspension for six months, and reduced them from recognised to registered status pending re-inspection by the MFHA. Goodwin and Anderson were each fined $700 and given two years probation. Charges are still pending against a third huntsman who allegedly bought 10 foxes. The MFHA’s executive director, said that his investigation showed the huntsmen were trying to repopulate an area that had been depleted by disease. “The MFHA found no indications that any of the huntsmen were ‘dropping’ foxes,” he said. “Since this investigation, the MFHA has found out that foxes cannot be released into the wild in most states, no matter how they are obtained. There are no provision to restock healthy foxes into diseased areas or in catastrophic situations where populations have been diminished.”

A huntsman who tried to stop a woman filming him after his horse died of a heart attack in Hartfield, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and damaging a video camera. Jonathan Wilkinson (38) from Powder Mills, Leigh, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 costs and £550 compensation at Lewes Magistrates on 26/4/01. He admitted trying to stop a 58-year-old woman from Brighton from filming him when his horse collapsed and died during an Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt meet. Wendy Peckham, spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, said: “Jo did let his emotions get the better of him but apologised readily at the time and was given credit for his guilty plea in court. “Hi will be riding with the hunt in the future as these were extreme circumstances and in normal conditions he is a perfect gentleman.

A huntsman was cleared of assaulting a hunt saboteur who grabbed a fox to protect it from hounds. John Hazeltine (32) of the East Devon Hunt was acquitted at Exeter magistrates court on 20/11/01 of attacking a hunt saboteur during a meeting of the hunt at Crammer Barton, near Cullompton. The saboteur told the court that he saw the fox being “bitten and mauled” by some of the pack so grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and lifted it up. “The fox immediately bit me on the hand, through my thumb,” he said, adding that he then crouched in the hedge and tried to cover the animal with his body. He then felt blows on the back of his head, and was bitten on the hand by some of the pack. He then claimed that Hazeltine had stamped him, and punched him in the back of the head, and the fox escaped from his grasp.

T wo hunt employees accused of interfering with badger setts by the RSPCA have had the case against them dismissed. Gary Edwards who lives on the Milton Estate, near Bretton, Peterborough and Cyril Smith Oakham, near Stamford both work as terriermen for the Fitzwilliam Hunt, had been accused of illegally blocking the holes or damaging a sett. But on 29/10/01 they were acquitted at Peterborough magistrates after the RSPCA said it did not have enough evidence to carry on. George Bowyer, joint-master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, which is based at Milton Hall, near Bretton, Peterborough, said the RSPCA had never had a case against the men and condemned its decision to bring charges. My men have always been innocent but their names have been blackened.

Anne Hull (40)of Maldon Road, Burnham was found guilty in of aiding and abetting interference with a badger sett. But Chelmsford Crown Court overturned the conviction at an appeal hearing on 2/11/01 after ruling there was no direct evidence linking Hull with the blocking of a badger sett. The court heard how Hull was a joint master of The Essex Farmers and Union Hunt when the six-hole badger sett was partially blocked by earth-stopper and terrierman Bryn Chittenden.

A hunt master was handcuffed by police after she drove away from a hunt breakfast more than three and half times over the limit Northampton Crown Court on 23/4/02. Charlotte Wilson-Smith (39) threatened to punch a police officer in the face when he arrived with two colleagues at her farmhouse after receiving reports that she was driving dangerously. Minutes earlier she had been seen falling out of her car by a driver who followed her home after seeing her straying into the opposite lane and mounting a grass verge. The court was told that when the police arrived at Wilson-Smith’s farmhouse they found her trying to climb over a barbed wire fence into a field. When asked to return to the courtyard, she replied: “I will punch you in the face in a minute,” the court heard. After she insisted on walking off to attend to a horse, she was handcuffed and arrested. Wilson-Smith, Master of the Oakley Hunt, admitted a charge of dangerous driving. The jury heard Wilson-Smith was making her way home from a hunt breakfast held at Newton Bromswold point-to-point racecourse. Wilson-Smith said she had taken part in a sponsored bike ride to raise funds for the hunt before attending a hunt breakfast. She said she had a couple of glasses of sparkling wine but later discovered someone had been topping up her glass. She agreed she had been drinking Bucks Fizz. “With hindsight I should not have driven,” she told the court. She said she had driven cautiously with a bicycle on a rack on the back of her vehicle. At the junction, she thought she had time to pull out. Wilson-Smith said: “I heard a bit of a screech. I looked in the rear view mirror and the van was very close. I remember I was being followed and that is why I may have put my foot down a bit more. I was a little bit concerned because I thought I was being followed by a hunt saboteur. I got out and told him to clear off because it was private property.” Inside her house, she said she drank some German beer and added she was “petrified” when she saw the police arrive. She said that was when she tried to get over the fence and found herself being handcuffed. Asked why she had threatened to punch a PC she replied: “I was quite frightened. Policemen were running after you and all I was doing was trying to catch a horse.” She was later found to be three and a half times over the limit. The jury took 30 minutes to find Wilson-Smith guilty of dangerous driving. She then admitted driving with excess alcohol. Recorder Andrew Tidbury adjourned sentence for reports. He asked for a medical report because of Wilson-Smith’s high alcohol reading. During the trial the court heard she had been taking antidepressants at the time. At Northampton Crown Court on 29/5/02 Charlotte Wilson-Smith of Poplars Farm, Wymington, Northants, burst into tears and wiped her face with a tissue as a judge sentenced her to three months in prison. She was also banned from driving for three and a half years. She was found guilty of dangerous driving and admitted drink-driving after she was found to be three and a half times over the limit.

Back To The Top

An unemployed gamekeeper was given a 6 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs at Corby Magistrates court on 3/5/02 after he pleaded guilty to smashing a hunt saboteur’s CB radio. Mr W. Playford was arrested at a meet of the Woodland Pytchley hunt at Stoke Albany where he was acting as a hunt steward. A hunt saboteur had been trying to stop the hunt chasing a fox when he was punched to the ground by another man, dropping the CB. It was then that Playford deliberately smashed the radio. Whilst hunt saboteurs welcomed the guilty plea, they were disappointed to receive no compensation for the radio, which will cost around £100 to replace. They were also concerned at the light sentence and the fact that no action has been taken over the assault that took place that day. Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson, Nathan Brown said, “Yet again hunting has shown its true nature. Non-violent tactics of hunt saboteurs save animals’ lives and are frequently met with attacks and aggression from the bullies in the hunting fraternity. This hunt has a reputation for the violence meted out to protesters. David Reynolds, Master of the Woodland Pytchley hunt, is a prominent member of the Countryside Alliance, who have now threatened a ‘summer of discontent’ showing total disregard for the democratic process. I fear we will see more attacks on peaceful opponents of hunting.”

Henry Brockhill (29) of Hale Carr Lane, Morecambe, was found guilty of attending a cockfight after a trial at Lancaster magistrates on 17/5/02 and was fined £150. Magistrates were told how officers found two carrier bags stuffed with dead and bloodstained cocks, a cockpit and bird cages. A video taken after the raid revealed paraphernalia associated with fighting cocks such as spurs, a cockpit surrounded by straw bales, a pair of scales, money and a betting board. Nine cocks were found dead, five were injured and another one had to be put down. Thirteen birds were recovered alive. Brockhill alleged he had only gone because his friend, David Howard, had called, asking to be picked up. He said he was not present when any fighting took place and only entered the building to look for his friend. Brockhill said he had no idea what was going on until he went upstairs and heard cocks crowing.

A cornish huntsman who admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to his hounds said that foot and mouth restrictions had contributed to his inability to feed them properly. Stephen Heard (45) of Padstow, was banned from keeping animals for ten years after magistrates at Launceston heard on 18/6/02 how two pregnant beagles were found dead at his kennels with no food or water. A previous conviction had already banned Heard from keeping cattle. Heard, a part-time dairy worker who kept the hounds on an “informal” basis, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to two beagle bitches and a beagle puppy which was confiscated by the RSPCA. As well as the ban, he was sentenced to 240 hours of community service to be undertaken in the next 12 months and ordered to pay £559.48 in costs to the RSPCA. David Hobbs was the RSPCA inspector who was sent to the kennels, Rose Avanon near Winnards Perch, St Columb, in Cornwall, after an anonymous tip-off. Outside the court, he said: “The conditions in that ramshackle building were shocking. “The animals were cramped, and there was not a dry area in the whole place. It was soaked in urine and mess. The smell was horrendous. “In one area the dogs had only a raised concrete platform to lie on and in another a wooden platform with nails sticking out of it. “There was no bedding at all and no fixed containers for water. Almost all of the water bowls were empty. It was squalid.” He phoned veterinary surgeon Mr Hill, whose post-mortem examination revealed nothing in the beagle’s entire gastro-intestinal tract, signifying she had had nothing to eat for about 48 hours. The bitch had been close to giving birth to eight puppies. A puppy in the same kennel as the dead bitch was taken away from Heard after it was found to be severely dehydrated. It was later re-homed by the RSPCA. Another beagle bitch was also found dead, again with eight unborn puppies. A post mortem examination revealed the bitch was dehydrated, and the only items in her digestive system were soil and a few leaves. Tissue samples from both dead hounds were sent to a laboratory and came back negative to external illness. They have banned him for 10 years from keeping animals, but in my view it would be better if it were a lifetime.

Hunt saboteurs in East Anglia are fuming after a hunt supporter guilty of assaulting a female protestor and a policeman was given a 12 month bind over on 21/6/02 by Bury St Edmunds magistrates. “This amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrists for him and a slap in the face for us” said one member of Suffolk and Essex Sabs, the local hunt saboteur group. Sabs had been using non-violent direct action to prevent the Suffolk Hunt killing foxes when Martin Nunn, a supporter of the hunt who is also known to help out with kennel duties, attacked a hunt saboteur. When a policeman intervened to halt the attack, he too was assaulted. The incident at Wepstead near Bury St Edmunds was clearly captured on video. Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown commented: “Is it any wonder that hunt supporters continue to attack people who protest against them when this is the punishment they receive?

A farmer arrested for his part in an illegal campaign to save bloodsports says he was prepared to go to jail for his beliefs. Peter Teasdale (48) from Pockley, near Kirkbymoorside is a member of a group of hunt supporters who have been painting pro- bloodsports slogans. The slogans have appeared over the last couple of months on roads and public signs. The clean-up is estimated to be costing North Yorkshire County Council thousands of pounds. “I know what I did was against the law, but I just feel so passionately about fox-hunting,” said Teasdale. On 3/9/02 Teasdale appeared at Scarborough magistrates, but no hearing took place after Crown Prosecutors announced he was instead to receive nothing more than a caution. Teasdale had been accused of damaging six signs around Nawton and Hawnby valued at £1,971 and further signs to the value of £1,371. He was also accused of possessing four tins of spray paint and a stencil of “Hands Off Hunting” with the intent to cause damage to property belonging to North Yorkshire County Council. Teasdale is a member of the Sinnington Hunt .

Animal activists used an infra-red triggered camera disguised as a twig to try to catch a man blocking a badger sett, a magistrates heard. Members of the League against Cruel Sports used the equipment to record Francis Phillips (65) of Thirlmere Road, Barrow upon Soar at a badger sett. Phillips who is an earth stopper for the Quorn Hunt denied two charges of obstructing a badger sett when he appeared at Harborough magistrates on 28/10/02. The prosecution claimed Phillips used heavy lumps of clay rather than loose soil to fill some of the 25 or so holes at the sett. On 6/11/02 Philips was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett. One count of interfering with a badger sett was dismissed but he was found guilty of the second charge. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. Philips is believed to be one of 40 registered earth stoppers who do work with the Quorn

On 5/9/02 highways chiefs in North Yorkshire announced plans to pursue a civil action against a farmer cautioned for his part in an illegal campaign of spray-painting slogans on road signs across the county in recent months. The cost of cleaning up signs across the region is estimated to run into thousands of pounds. Hunt supporter Peter Teasdale of Pockley, near Kirkbymoorside, was cautioned by Crown Prosecutors after he was accused of damaging six signs. He was also accused of possessing four tins of spray paint and a stencil of “Hands Off Hunting” with the intent to cause damage to property belonging to North Yorkshire County Council.

They were all due to appear before Bow Street magistrates on 23/12/02 however, David Sherwood (46) from Whittonstall, Northumberland, was charged with being drunk and disorderly. Sherwood who is the kennel man with the Braes of Derwent Hunt did not appear in court and did not enter a plea but had written to the clerk explaining he could not afford the travel costs.

Veterinary surgeon David J Dugdale (41) from Freckenham, Suffolk, was been charged under Section 4 of the Public Order Act after being arrested for using threatening words and behaviour. He pleaded not guilty.

Salesman Marcus Wright (28) from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was charged with assault on a police officer. He did not enter a plea and was bailed to reappear on 13/1/03. 

Student George Todhunter Bramley (20) from Gillingham, Norfolk, was charged with breach of cordon and demonstrating in a non-designated area. Bramley also wrote to the court telling of travel difficulties but pleased not guilty in his absence. He was bailed until 6/1/03

Four others were arrested during the demo ( click link to see pictures of the demo ), no further action will be taken against a 14-year-old boy from South Molton, Devon, arrested in possession of an offensive weapon, and a 28-year-old man from Stagshaw Bank, Northumberland, arrested for breach of the peace. A 23-year-old man has received a formal caution following his arrest for theft and a 31-year-old man has received a formal warning following his arrest for highway obstruction.

A drunken kennel worker who swore and shouted at police officers during a demonstration outside of the Houses of Parliament escaped a penalty o 6/1/03 after he apologised in court. David Sherwood (46) from Whittonstall, Northumberland, who is the kennel man with the Braes of Derwent Hunt was conditionally discharged without penalty after Bow Street magistrates heard he was “verbally hostile and aggressive” during a demonstration. The prosecution claimed Sherwood approached officers at a cordon erected to control the demonstration. “He was clearly under the influence of alcohol,” she said. “He grew verbally hostile and aggressive to the officers. He continued to behave in a disturbing manner. he was eventually arrested after being warned.” He was charged with being drunk and disorderly. Sherwood pleaded guilty. Magistrates imposed no penalty and conditionally discharged him for 12 months.

A fox hunt has had a noise abatement order imposed on it and the Master of Hounds has been told to stop his pack from baying to prevent a public nuisance. In what is believed to be the first action of its kind, The Isle of Wight Foxhoundswas served with the order after complaints from people living close to its kennels. Joint Master Richard Standing said on 8/1/03 that he would appeal against the order, which has been suspended until the matter is decided by magistrates later in January 2003. The complaints have come not from people opposed to fox hunting, but from hunt supporters who say that they cannot put up with the noise of barking hounds any longer. Anita Fitzgerald (42) one of those to complain, is a hunt supporter who has sung at the Isle of Wight Hunt Ball. She said: “This is nothing to do with the argument about hunting. It is about the most basic human right of being able to sleep.” She moved to a house close to the kennel at Gatcombe three years ago. “The noise has made my life a living hell,” she said. Fitzgerald said she had complained to the council only after discussions with the hunt had proved fruitless. “I tried everything to get things done amicably but now I have had to get the council involved. The constant noise of the dogs was driving me bonkers. “Together with another neighbour we complained to the council. It has investigated and seen fit to serve the notice. “We have been asked to give evidence and we most certainly will.” (I don’t think she will be asked back to sing at the next hunt ball) 

On 9/1/03 Julian Leefe-Griffiths of Hollyhill, Colemans Hatch, admitted keeping a vehicle without an excise licence. He was fined £190 plus £45 prosecution costs, and ordered to pay £160 back duty. Leefe-Griffiths hunts with the Old Surrey & Burstow and West Kent Foxhounds 

Marcus Wright (28) of 7 Fernie Avenue, Melton, who is the kennel huntsman of The Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire Beagles was arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer during a demonstration outside Westminster . His charge was later reduced to obstructing a police officer and he was fined £50 with £55 costs at Bow Street magistrates on 13/1/03.

Back To The Top

Allegations of racism were dropped on 21/1/03 against Robin Page (61) from Barton, Glos was questioned by police after saying country dwellers should enjoy the same rights as blacks, Muslims and homosexuals. Page was arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred after making a speech at a pro-hunting rally which began: “If there is a black, vegetarian, Muslim, asylum-seeking, one-legged, lesbian lorry driver present.I want the same rights as you.”

Charges were dropped on 22/1/03 against a Norfolk farming student who was arrested at a demonstration in London George Todhunter Bramley (20) from Gillingham, near Beccles, said last night he was “extremely relieved” to learn that no further action would be taken against him. He was due to appear before Bow Street magistrates charged with breach of cordon and demonstrating in a non-designated area. But a spokesman from the Crown Prosecution Service in London confirmed: “Mr Bramley’s case has been discontinued because it would not be in the public’s interest to continue it.” He was arrested after he handcuffed himself to the railings in front of the main entrance to the House of Commons.

Also on 22/1/03 Suffolk vet David Dugdale , from Freckenham, near Mildenhall, is charged with using threatening words and behaviour during a demonstration in London . His case is due to be heard at Bow Street magistrates on 21/2/03 .

A father and son have been charged with assaulting two police officers outside Nantwich Civic Hall. Tony Kirkham (58) and his son Timothy (20) both of Ridley Farm, Tarporley, both are keen supporters of the Cheshire Foxhounds and Cheshire Forest Hunt were arrested at 1.30am and charged with three offences that left one police officer with a fractured wrist and the other with facial injuries. Both officers are now off work following the incident, with the policeman who suffered a fractured wrist unable to work for a fortnight. The incident took place outside the civic hall, which was staging The Cheshire Foxhounds Farmers Hunt Ball when the two men are alleged to have assaulted the officers who were helped by the hall’s doormen who came to their rescue. A police spokesman said: “The incident had nothing to do with protesters, it was a disturbance that took place outside the civic hall that ended up with two officers being assaulted. “Some of the doormen who were working at the hall came to their assistance as it was getting out of hand and we would like to say thank you to them for helping out the officers – it was a nasty incident.” Both men were charged with actual bodily harm, resisting or obstructing a constable in the execution of duty, with Tony Kirkham also charged with threatening behaviour and his son with obstructing a person assisting a constable in the execution of duty. The men appeared at Crewe magistrates Court on 22/1/03 and the case has now been adjourned until 19/3/03 .

On 15/3/03 a company director who claimed to be a victim of a “regime of terror” has been jailed for 15 months after he lied during the trial of a major drugs dealer at the centre of a crime empire. Stewart Sayer (45) of Crows Hall Lane, Attleborough who was field master for the Dunston Harriers , said he was a under constant threat two years ago when he gave evidence at the trial of Richard Carter. Carter, along with his brother Stephen, ran a large-scale drug dealing operation and smuggled a steady supply of cannabis and heroin to inmates at Norwich prison. During the trial, Sayer lied in court to help Richard Carter hide his “ill-gotten” gains from his drug dealing empire. He said he bought a scrapyard in Wymondham for £75,000 through an offshore company when in fact Carter had provided the cash. Sayer admitted perjury.

On 29/4/03 Trevor Adams (44) from Eildon, near Melrose who is the Master of the Buccleuch Hunt and Rory Innes(26) the Master of the Jedforest Hunt , have both been accused of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs. Also two men aged 19 were charged in the Borders in February for chasing foxes and badgers with their dogs.

Four joint hunt masters and two workers were suspended on 28/6/03. It follows allegations that a vixen and two cubs were moved from an earth in breach of hunting rules. An investigation has been launched into allegations of misconduct at the Cottesmore Hunt after pictures were taken by The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). They said its investigators filmed a member of the hunt placing two cubs in an artificial earth in Leicestershire. The artificial earth to which they had been moved was in a field of sheep and lambs and on a path used by hunts. They also said that by moving the foxes, staff were demonstrating that far from trying to keep numbers down, they were trying to encourage foxes to breed in order to have sufficient numbers to hunt. The ones who were suspended are Dean Jones , terrierman for the hunt, Jones admitted that he had moved the foxes and was suspended, as was his boss, Neil Coleman . The four suspended joint masters are David Manning , a businessman, Charles Gordon-Watson , a bloodstock agent, and Nicholas Wright and Roger Dungworth, both farmers. A formal hearing is to take place on 2/7/03.

On 2/7/03 Dean Jones the terrier man employed by the Cottesmore Hunt had his licence withdrawn after he was filmed moving fox cubs. The Master of The Foxhounds Association (MFHA) disciplinary committee launched an inquiry and suspended four masters of the Cottesmore Hunt , a huntsman and their terrierman Jones. Jones, who admitted the offence, told the disciplinary committee that it was done in a ‘moment of compassion’. Neil Coleman , the huntsman, admitted Jones had told him of the matter later but he did not disclose this information to his employers. The MFHA committee found the Joint Masters not guilty of misconduct under Rule 49, not guilty of any other rules and lifted their suspension. They withdrew the terrier man’s licence with the recommendation he should not be granted another licence for three years. Alastair Jackson, director of MFHA said: “The committee was impressed with the Cottesmore Masters’ methods, execution of staff training, records and protocol and was wholly satisfied at no time had the masters acted negligently or deliberately against MFHA rules.” The Masters of Cottesmore Hunt have started their own disciplinary proceedings against Mr Jones and Mr Coleman. On Thursday they announced Neil Coleman, the huntsman, had been reinstated. Discussions are being held about the future of Jones, who is still employed by the hunt staff, but because of the ban can no longer be employed by them as a terrier man.

On 30/6/03 the High Court ruled that Magpies have legal rights. A senior judge declared it is unlawful to allow the birds to suffer unnecessarily if they are used under licence as decoys in traps to catch other magpies. Mr Justice Leveson, sitting in London, allowed an RSPCA appeal against a refusal by Telford magistrates court in April last year to convict a member of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation of causing unnecessary suffering to a magpie kept in a Larsen trap. Norman Shinton of Mendip Close, Little Dawley, Telford set up the trap in his garden. Shinton was accused of causing a single magpie unnecessary suffering as he used the bird over and over again, instead of “rotating” decoys. Mr Justice Leveson said Shinton was authorised as the owner or occupier of land to confine the magpie in a cage trap. There was no doubt that the use of the Larsen trap fell within the terms of the licence, and Telford district judge Philip Browning was right to acquit on that charge. But the district judge had gone wrong in law when he cleared Shinton of causing the bird unnecessary suffering. The High Court judge ruled that, even though the trap might be lawful, it was “illogical” to say its owner was therefore absolved of all responsibility. The judge said it was unnecessary to send the case back to the magistrates court for it to be reconsidered as the RSPCA had only brought the case to clarify the law.

Jonathan Boise (46) of London Road, Petworth was found not guilty on 16/7/03 of causing actual bodily harm to two hunt saboteurs. Video footage had been shown in court of the him punching one sab and fighting with the other. However, Boise who is the huntsman with The Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt maintained he had been acting in self-defence.

On 25/9/03 Edward `Danny’ Phillips (58) of Broadstone Terrace, Catbrook, near Tintern – a terrier man with the Curre and Llangybi Foxhounds appeared before Abergavenny magistrates. Phillips denies a charge of wilfully interfering with a badger sett by digging it up. A hunt saboteur told magistrates he and two others had been following the hunt for about four hours when the fox went to ground in a field. He said they watched the scene from about 100 metres away. He said that initially there were hounds marking the site where the fox was, then they were replaced by terrier man Phillips and a few others on quad bikes with spades. They got off the quad bikes, briefly examined or looked at where the fox had gone to ground, and then proceeded to dig around that area. He watched for about 45 minutes before leaving, then telephoned the police and the local badger group. On 26/9/03 the case was thrown out of court – after a debate about the animals’ toilet habits. The deputy district judge ruled there was no case to answer as it could not be proved it was occupied by badgers.

A father and son were charged with assaulting two police officers outside Nantwich Civic Hall in January 2003. Anthony Kirkham (58) and his son Timothy (20) both of Ridley Farm, Tarporley, both are keen supporters of the Cheshire Foxhounds and Cheshire Forest Hunt were arrested outside the civic hall, which was staging The Cheshire Foxhounds Farmers Hunt Ball. Both men were charged with actual bodily harm, resisting or obstructing a constable in the execution of duty, with Tony Kirkham also charged with threatening behaviour and his son with obstructing a person assisting a constable in the execution of duty. They both appeared at Crewe magistrates in August 2003 and both were found guilty of resisting a police officer and sentenced to 200 hours community service. They were both also found guilty of assault and sentenced to 200 hours community service to run consecutively. They were ordered to pay £300 costs and £50 compensation. (see other recent conviction)

Four men who assaulted a farmer at the kennels of the Blackmore Vale Hunt have been remanded on bail for the preparation of pre-sentence reports. Ryan Carvill (23) of County Down, Ireland; Marc Beale (28) of Coldharbour, Sherborne; Adam Knight (24) of Bar Lever Lane, Charlton Horethorne, and Martin Starks (18) of South Down, Charlton Horethorne, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Glenn Hodges, who was kicked and punched at the hunt kennels. All four accepted being part of a joint enterprise but Taunton Crown Court was told on 4/9/03 that Beale did not accept kicking and Starks did not remember and did not accept using either his fists or his feet. The case was adjourned to a later date.

Bloodsports supporter Vinnie Jones has been ordered to do 80 hours of community service after admitting air rage charges. Jones was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to a passenger he admitted assaulting on board a flight from London to Tokyo. Jones was fined another £500 for an offence of using threatening words or behaviour towards the cabin crew and was further ordered to pay £300 in costs. At Uxbridge magistrates on 12/12/03 Jones from Tring, Hertfordshire, admitted an offence of common assault on a male passenger and using threatening words or behaviour against members of the cabin crew. He became angry after being told he was being annoying, inciting Jones to launch a tirade of insults and threats.

A hunt protester was hit on the head from behind by a hunt supporter as he conducted a peaceful protest. The incident happened on New Year’s Day as supporters of Mendip Farmers’ Hunt passed through a village. Police arrested a man in connection with the incident and he was dealt with by a formal caution. The protester stated “I asked the huntsmen to stop mutilating our wildlife. I shouted at them to leave our wildlife alone and stop stalking them for fun. I could see them coming over the fields and noticed two people standing around with the hunt following, coming down the road. One of them took exception to me. He took a swing at me and his wife stopped him. He then came up behind me and laid into my head. I suffered large lumps on the side of my head – he was using a metal-tipped staff.” A 67-year-old man was arrested and has been given a formal caution by Shepton Mallet police officers on 16/1/04.

On 8/2/04 Stephen Parkin who is the master of the South Cornwall Hunt was charged by the RSPCA with causing unnecessary suffering to a hound. Parkin (42) from Whitemoor near St Austell, denied the allegations at Bodmin magistrates on 11/2/04. The case against Parkin was adjourned for a pre-trial review to be held in front of magistrates at Bodmin on 16/3/04.

A hunt master’s wife who unfairly sacked her gardener of 15 years has been ordered to pay him £3,420 by an employment tribunal. Adrian Clarke (47) was dismissed by Fiona Smith-Bingham from The Whalebones, Knossington after he picked up an arm injury and was unable to fulfil his gardener and handyman duties. The tribunal, in Leicester on 8/4/04, heard her husband Kim, Master of the Cottesmore Hunt, dismissed Clarke before the couple had seen a doctor’s report confirming their former gardener’s condition.

Back To The Top

Jamie Hawksfield, West Sussex County Chairman of the Countryside Alliance was arrested on 13/4/04 and taken to Crawley Police Station. Here he was shown video of him threatening and assaulting an anti-hunt protester. The incident occurred at a meeting of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt . He admitted the offence and was given a formal police caution as he is a first time offender.

A hunt supporter was jailed on 23/4/04 for four and a half years for sexually assaulting three girls. David Stephens (44) a horse breeder and dealer who rides with The Four Burrows Hunt in Cornwall was banned from working with children under 18 when he appeared before Truro Crown Court. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender. Stephens of Kenwyn was found guilty of three charges of indecent assault and admitted perverting the course of justice by asking two friends to give him a false alibi.

A hunt master let a young foxhound become so horrifically emaciated she could barely stand, magistrates heard on 29/4/04. Stephen Parkin (42) of North Road, Whitemoor, Cornwall allowed an 11-month-old bitch, to almost starve to death. She was reduced to a “bag of bones” and was found on the verge of collapse weighing less than two stone. Liskeard magistrates’ were told the dog was also kept in filthy conditions, with sodden, urine-soaked bedding. Parkin has admitted causing unnecessary suffering while he was Master and Kennelman of South Cornwall Hunt. Parkin initially denied the charge, but changed his plea at an earlier hearing. He quit the hunt after the RSPCA launched an investigation into allegations of cruelty. The court was told members folded the hunt, which had a 30-year tradition in Cornwall, after his resignation. Officers from the RSPCA visited the hunt’s Woodland Barton Kennels after a tip-off from a member of the public. The court was told the foxhound had sores in her mouth, and was bleeding slightly from her anus, both attributed to malnutrition. Parkin had been Master of the Hunt for nine years, and Kennel Master-Huntsman for six years. On 6/5/04 he was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200 and banned from keeping dogs for five years.

The former Master of the Cheshire Hunt, Thomas Randle Cooke of Pigeon House Farm, Handley, admitted two counts of moving cattle without the relevant passports, failing to keep a register showing the movements of a beast and re-tagging cattle without notifying the relevant government department. Cooke was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs by Chester magistrates on 9/7/04. The matters relating to Cooke came to light as a result of investigations into cattle dealer Robin Arden from Tarporley which resulted in Arden receiving a £10,000 fine, with £2,500 costs, after appearing before Northwich magistrates on 18 charges.

The Black Combe Beagles have lost a court action over the care of two of the hunt’s beagles. Borrowdale fellrunner Billy Bland and his wife Mary successfully argued at Whitehaven County Court in July 2004 that the Black Combe Beagles, based at Waberthwaite, Cumbria had failed to respect an agreement that they could have safe custody of two beagles they had cared for in the off-season. The Blands from Mountain View, Borrowdale took the legal action as they said they had been concerned about the welfare of beagles. The couple looked after the dogs from March to August when the hounds are not hunting. But because of their concerns to ensure the hounds’long term welfare they drew up an agreement with the hunt for the dogs return to them after their hunting days were over. In the county court action the case was brought against Stan Ellwood and Bruce Portermaster and chairman of the Black Combe Beagles. Mary Bland said after the case: “We act as walkers for the hounds in the off-season. You get attached to the dogs and we paid vets bills and feeding. Thanks to the judge we have got one back, but we were told the other had been ‘put down’ by a kennels in Ireland. But we do not accept that version and we may use the £200 we were awarded to go over to Ireland to try and find out more. “Bruce Porter, chairman of the Beagles said any comment should come through their solicitors, but he rejected any claims that the beagles were not cared for at the Waberthwaite hunt kennels.

A hunt supporter from North Yorkshire was cleared of driving his car into a puddle to drench two animal rights campaigners and a child with icy water as they protested at a New Years day meet of the Derwent FoxhoundsColin Pickering (63) of Prospect Place, Thornton-le-Dale, denied driving without reasonable consideration to others when he appeared at Pickering magistrates on 13/8/04.

On 31/8/04 the Tiverton Staghounds paid £500 to the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) in an out-of-court settlement over the shooting of a stag in a sanctuary belonging to the league. The hunt and the LACS have been in dispute about the fate of the stag since the incident at the LACS sanctuary at Morebath near Bampton in October 2002.

A West Pennard farmer who attended the bloodsport demo at Parliament Square on 15/9/04 appeared before Wells magistrates on 20/1/05 after he admitted threatening behaviour. Brett George Parsons (45) of Sticklynch initially appeared at Camberwell Green magistrates when he was made the subject of a 75-hour community punishment order. The community order was revoked and replaced by a £100 fine.

Lucy Ferry admitted her part in the pro-bloodports demonstration in London on 15/9/04. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Bow Street magistrates on 21/9/04 after admitting obstructing the traffic. Ferry, who was also ordered to pay £40 court costs. Jackie Coward (18) girlfriend of Ferry’s son Otis, pleaded guilty to the same charge and also received a conditional discharge and was order to pay court costs. Magistrates heard how at 6am on the day of the Countryside Alliance protest in Parliament Square, police were in the process of setting up cordons. As a police carrier came to a set of red lights, two vehicles appeared to park up at the lights. The defendants got out of the cars. They walked away so that when the lights turned green, the carrier was unable to proceed. She said when police spoke to the two women, they refused to move their cars. Coward said: “We were making a political statement and I was quite shocked at what happened. I’m surprised I have had to come back down here. I am a poor student from up in Newcastle”. Coward admitted that her car had been blocking the highway.

At Tower Bridge magistrates on 29/9/04 a bloodsports supporter who took part in the demonstration outside Parliament on 15 /9/04 swore and spat at police who tried to move him out of the road. Brett Parsons (31) from Stickle Ball Hill Farm, Sticklynch, Glastonbury, Somerset admitted threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway and was ordered to carry out 75 hours unpaid community work and fined £75. Parsons, Parsons was also told to pay £50 towards prosecution costs.

Two bloodsports supporters who dumped animal carcasses (see below) in the street during the Labour Party conference pleaded guilty at Brighton magistrates on 20/10/04 to breaching the Public Order Act. Stuart Trousdale (33) from Gatcombe is the huntsman of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds and James Butcher (39) of Ashley Road in Ryde, horrified local residents by unloading two dead calves and a cow from a pick up truck near the conference venue in Brighton. They pleaded guilty to breaching the Public Order Act through threatening and disorderly behaviour. Their defence claimed they are not hooray Henrys, out to make a point. They are hard-working members of their community. “They are countrymen who feel that, as they see it, their way of life is under threat. “This is a crime of passion.” Both regretted any upset they had caused. Trousdale, who earns £10,000 a year, was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £70. Butcher was fined £167 and ordered to pay £70 costs.

Jonathan Broise (46) of London Road, Petworth was accused of riding his horse at a hunt saboteur and breaking her shoulder has been cleared. Broise who is the huntsman with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt,denied a charge of actual bodily harm. On 27/10/04 the defence successfully argued there was no case to answer and the jury at Hove Crown Court was ordered to return a not guilty verdict. It had been claimed that Broise had pushed a 60-year-old hunt saboteur, out of the way at a meet in September 2003.

Chester racecourse boss Richard Thomas – a master of the Cheshire Hunt – had to intervene when a fight broke out at a hunt ball. Police are investigating the alleged assault in front of 500 guests in which a man got punched on the nose, causing it to stream with blood and security guards piled in to form what one onlooker called ‘a rugby scrum’. Thomas, who at first denied a brawl had occurred, later explained that two of his fellow hunt supporters had been involved in a fracas. Thomas said he was walking past at the time and grabbed the alleged perpetrator by the arm before security guards took over. The man was unceremoniously ejected and is believed to have taken a taxi home. When first asked whether a fight had taken place Thomas, who lives in Churton, said: ‘I don’t think so.’ But later he admitted that he was concerned about attracting bad publicity. He said: ‘Chief executive in fight at racecourse would be an absolute disaster! Alleged victim Douglas Thompson (40) from Great Barrow, a former master of the Vale of Lune Harriers, whose shirt was covered in blood, has complained to police about what took place.

huntsman from the Buccleuch Foxhounds was cleared of deliberately using a pack of hounds to hunt foxes in breach of anti-hunting legislation. Trevor Adams (46) from Melrose denied the charge and claimed the hounds were used to “flush” out foxes so they could be shot. The sheriff at Jedburgh on 10/12/04 ruled that the dogs were not out of control at any time. At an earlier hearing, the sheriff was told that a tenant farmer had refused Adams’ Fox Control Service entry to his land at Courthill.

A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said that a 63-year-old man was arrested and cautioned for a public order offence after he verbally abused a hunt saboteur in the presence of a police officer. The offence followed a meet of The High Peak Hunt at King Sterndale, Derbyshire on 11/12/04. A police spokeswoman also said: “A victim reported threats of physical violence and, while an officer was taking a report from the victim, the alleged offender appeared and continued the verbal abuse.” “The man, from the Hartington area, was warned by the officer to behave but continued with the abuse.”

Eight bloodsports supporters appeared at Bow Street magistrates on 21/12/04 in connection with a hunting protest inside the House of Commons. They all pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct charges under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The men were given unconditional bail to return in January. They were Otis Ferry (22) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury. Ferry is also the joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire FoxhoundsLuke Tomlinson(27) of Down Farm, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, who is a friend of princes William and Harry. David Redvers (34) of Corsend Farm, Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Richard Wakeham (36) of Alma Terrace, York; Nicholas Wood (41) of Bowden Park, Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holiday (37) of Ledbury Kennels, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire. Holiday is also the huntsman of The Ledbury FoxhoundsRobert Thame (35) of Piper’s Cottage, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Thame also hunts with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt; and Andrew Elliot (42) of Laurel Cottage, Allbright Lane, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire, Elliot rides with the Ledbury Foxhounds.

A hunt supporter who protested at the House of Commons along with others has appeared before city magistrates on a firearms offence. David Redvers (34) of Corsend Farm, Corsend Road, Hartpury pleaded guilty on 1/2/05 to failing to comply with a condition of his firearms certificate. When Police officers executed a search at the his home they found the property to be unoccupied. They found four rounds of .22 ammunition on a windowsill and more live rounds in a bowl in one of the bedrooms. The officers returned the following day and seized the ammunition. Conditions for his firearms certificate stipulate that ammunition should be securely locked away and not left on display for all and sundry. Magistrates fined him £350 and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £55. Magistrates made no order for the confiscation of the defendant’s firearms or ammunition, but they decided to leave that matter in the hands of the police.

On 26/2/05 a man was charged on three counts of Actual Bodily Harm, criminal damage and possession of a bladed article. The charges at Pulborough police station follow an incident on 8/1/05 January during a meet of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt in West Sussex when a man is alleged to have thrown a bucket of ditch water through the window of anti-hunt protester’s Landrover and then assaulted three women protesters with a stick before smashing the vehicle’s rear window.

A member of the Essex Farmers and Union foxhunt was arrested on 5/3/05 after a hunt saboteur was allegedly struck on the head with a riding crop. The following Saturday (12/3/05) another member of the Essex Farmers and Union foxhunt was also arrested on suspicion of causing Actual Bodily Harm and Criminal Damage, following a series of threats and attacks on hunt saboteurs and their vehicles.

On 23/3/05 a 37-year-old farmer was cautioned for throwing offal at Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw during a pro-hunting demonstration. Mr Bradshaw received a cut near his right eye after the protester threw a piece of hollowed-out fruit containing entrails at him in Exeter in January 20005. Devon and Cornwall Police arrested the man, from Ashburton on suspicion of assault. He was questioned before receiving an official caution and released. About 70 bloodsports supporters shouted slogans as Mr Bradshaw arrived and one threw the offal. The man cautioned for throwing the offal made a full apology to Mr Bradshaw and gave a donation to the Fishermen’s Mission.

A friend of William and Harry has been fined for hurling tomatoes at Tony Blair in a pro-bloodsports stunt. Harry Meadespent six hours in police cells after the attack on 28/3/05 at a church. The son of Richard Meade said yesterday: “I fired off two tomatoes which hit the building. Blair’s suit was splashed with juice. He looked very hacked off.” Meade (22) from West Littleton, Gloucestershire received a fixed penalty £80 fine. Jamie Wells (22) from Shipton Moyne in Gloucestershire and Ed Ackerman (21) from West Kington also detained after the incident in Kennington, South London, were cautioned and freed after a spell in the cells. Meade who is a member of the Beaufort Hunt disrupted the Labour Party conference and blocked the Commons with a horse box in protest at the fox hunt ban.

Police have fined two bloodpsorts protesters who were arrested following egg-throwing incidents during Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit to Northamptonshire on 17/4/05. An 18-year-old man from Holcot and a 20-year-old woman from Weston-by-Welland, near Corby, were both charged under section five of the Public Order Act and issued with £80 fixed penalty fines by Northamptonshire Police. Also on the same day while John Prescott was in Northampton Harriet Sluman (20) from Market Harborough given was also given an on-the-spot £80 fine. Sluman who is a supporter of the Woodland Pytchley hunt was fined after throwing an egg at Prescott.

A hunt supporter has been accused of stealing more than £4,500 from a Devon hunt supporters’ club while she was its treasurer. Naomi Tamzin Barrett (41) of Tythebarn, Branscombe, Seaton, appeared before Exeter magistrates on 21/4/05. She faced three charges of stealing cash totalling £4,626 from the Axe Valley Hunt Supporters’ Club. She was also alleged to have stolen £372.97 from the East Devon Hunt Pony Club. Barrett was further accused of using a false instrument – a Lloyds TSB Bank statement – with the intention of inducing Richard Dormor and members of the Axe Valley Hunt Supporters’ Club to accept it as genuine. She was also charged with falsifying a cheque stub from an account required for accounting purposes. Barrett will next appear before Exeter magistrates 3/6/05 for a committal. She was released on unconditional bail.

Otis Ferry who is the joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire Foxhounds was arrested by police after shouting at Tony Blair as he arrived at an election party at the National Portrait Gallery on 6/5/05. Ferry lunged over a barrier at the rear entrance to the building and shouted in Mr Blair’s face before a plain clothes policeman stepped in to block him. As he was bundled away by uniformed officers Mr Ferry shouted: “I’ve had enough of this Government.” He was held for alleged public order offences and were taken to a central London police station for questioning.

Back To The Top

On 4/5/05 an inquiry by bloodsports organisations has cleared a stag hunt of accusations of animal cruelty. The inquiry into the County Down Staghounds followed the screening of a stag hunt on BBC Northern Ireland. It was carried out by the Northern Ireland Masters Association along with the Hunting Association and the Countryside Alliance of Ireland. The board rejected the suggestion that the film showed the stag was exhausted. The news report showed the hunt in pursuit of a stag across farmland. The footage showed the stag being chased through a garden, fields and hedges. The inquiry also dealt with concerns regarding the welfare of sheep which were seen running in a bid to evade the commotion of the hunt. Concern had also been expressed that such exertion might pose a risk to the welfare of sheep at a time of the year when many flocks are heavily pregnant. However, the inquiry board said it was satisfied the sheep were not harmed in any way. The inquiry, which was also told the landowner had given permission for the hunt to cross the It concluded there was no evidence of the hunt having broken any law or of breaching the hunting code of practice. (Now why does all this not surprise me?)

Eight bloodsports supporters were convicted on 26/5/05 of violating the Public Order Act Section 5 after invading the House of Commons during a debate on the Hunting Bill last year. After a four-day trial at Bow Street magistrates, the judge ordered that the men receive an 18-month conditional discharge and pay £350 costs each. Workman told the eight that he was satisfied their conduct was disorderly and that it had caused alarm. However, he said he could find no evidence that their actions had resulted in either harassment or distress. The eight are Otis Ferry (22) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury. Ferry is also the joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire FoxhoundsLuke Tomlinson (27) of Down Farm, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, who is a friend of princes William and Harry. David Redvers(34) of Corsend Farm, Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Richard Wakeham (36) of Alma Terrace, York; Nicholas Wood (41) of Bowden Park, Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holiday (37) of Ledbury Kennels, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire. Holiday is also the huntsman of The Ledbury FoxhoundsRobert Thame (35) of Piper’s Cottage, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Thame also hunts with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt; and Andrew Elliot (42) of Laurel Cottage, Allbright Lane, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire, Elliot rides with the Ledbury Foxhounds(also see)

On 31/5/05 a youth was arrested in connection with an attack on an anti-hunt campaigner at the East Kent Foxhounds. The 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm and released on bail, Kent Police said. Officers are still seeking information about the identity of the people who carried out the attack at Crundale, near Ashford. The anti-hunt campaigner was treated in hospital after the assault for multiple bruising and a suspected broken rib.

Two bloodsports supporters have been cleared of alleged criminal behaviour. Gilles Wheeler (45) who was sentenced to 60 days imprisonment by Bow Street magistrates, has been acquitted on appeal. Wheeler’s appeal was heard by Southwark Crown Court on 10/6/05. The former professional huntsman to the Isle of Wight Foxhounds and Fernie Foxhoundswas originally sentenced following police testimony relating to events in Parliament Square on 15/9/04, during the demonstration against the Hunting Bill. It was originally alleged that, in throwing a lit flare onto ground on the corner of Canon Row and Bridge Street, Westminster, Wheeler had breached the Public Order act. Despite pleading “not guilty”, he was sentenced on 25/4/05. He was released on bail two days later. Bloodsports supporter and trainee farrier Thomas Haddock has been acquitted of threatening behaviour. Haddock, from Mid Glamorgan, was charged with a public order offence after an incident outside a Labour Party charity dinner in Cardiff on 25/11/04. On 10/6/05 at Cardiff magistrates they found him not guilty.

A pellet from a gas-fired airgun went through the head of Alfred Norton while he was out lamping with his uncle and two other men. Two of his uncles were jailed on 28/605. Leeds Crown Court was told that the pellet was still lodged in Alfred’s brain as surgeons were unable to remove it because of the high risk. He needed continuous care and would suffer for the rest of his life. The shot was fired accidently by Lee Beauchamp, Alfred’s sister’s boyfriend. Three brothers, including Gary Norton admitted perverting justice by making false statements and hiding evidence. John Norton(61) of Lumley Mount Bungalows, Castleford, and Stephen Norton (35) of Hollywell Grove, Glass Houghton, were each jailed for 15 months and 12 months respectively. They each admitted a further joint offence of having a firearm as a trespasser. On 4/7/05 Gary Norton (45) of Wellgate, Castleford was given a nine-month sentence suspended for two years for lying to police by telling them a stranger shot his son. On 14/7/05 Lee Beauchamp (19) of Penrith Crescent, Ferry Fryston was given a 12-month conditional discharge and £40 costs by Pontefract magistrates after admitting trespassing on land with an air weapon.

Mal Williams (49) from Wormelow who is the master of the South Herefordshire Hunt was cleared of using threatening behaviour towards police at a bloodsports demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in September 2004. At Bow Street magistrates on 1/7/05 the court heard how Mal Williams (49) from Wormelow, grabbed a police sergeant’s baton and protective shield. He denied using threatening behaviour. A police officer told the court Williams had grabbed the end of his baton with both hands and tried to pull it away. Williams was arrested after police examined video footage taken during the demonstration. Although the District Judge dismissed the charge Williams was bound over for £250 for 18 months.

Naomi Tamzin Barrett (41) of Tythebarn, Branscombe, near Seaton, appeared in court charged with stealing money from a hunt supporters’ club while she was its treasurer. Barrett faced four charges of theft, one of forgery and one of false accounting when she appeared at Exeter Crown Court on 18/7/05. It is alleged she stole £2,100 from the Axe Valley Hunt Supporters’ Club and £372 from the East Devon Hunt Pony Club. Barrett is also accused of forgery by making a false bank statement with the intention of inducing members of the club to accept it as genuine, and false accounting by falsifying cheques. The case was adjourned until 5/8/05.

A Yorkshire hunt member allegedly involved in an attempt to halt a steam train while demonstrating against the Government’s ban on hunting is due to appear in court soon. Ivan Richard Holmes (52) of Tylas Farm, Old Byland, in North Yorkshire, has been charged in connection with the protest near Pickering. He is due to appear before Scarborough magistrates on 18/7/05 to face a charge of using threatening behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress. Holmes, aGlaisdale Hunt supporter, faces a further charge of obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity. The train was being run by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway between Whitby and Pickering when it was allegedly targeted. Three others were questioned in connection with the incident but charges have only been brought against Holmes.

On 9/8/05 retired New Forest Huntsman Paul Woodhouse was been charged with threatening behaviour against an New Forest Animal Protection Group (NFAPG) anti-hunt observer and will appear at Lyndhurst magistrates on 30/8/05. Woodhouse had to be restrained by his own colleagues after allegedly using threatening behaviour towards the observer during the last official day of legal hunting in the New Forest.

A bloodsports supporter who was arrested during the Parliament Square demonstrations has been acquitted. Lee Peters, master and huntsman of the Camarthen Hunt, appeared at Bow Street magistrates on 15/8/05, charged under Section 4 of the Public Order Act. The lay magistrate dismissed the case, saying there was not enough evidence to support the charges. “He said that in the politically charged atmosphere of the day, V-signs and clenched fists raised to the police does not count as threatening behaviour,”

Douglas Hill (62) who is the joint master of the Essex and Farmers Union Hunthas been charged with a string of offences – including the assault of a police officer – after trouble flared at a hunt meet. Hill of Church Road in West Hanningfield also faces two further charges of assault, a charge of criminal damage and two public order offences. He is due to appear at Chelmsford magistrates on 25/8/05.

Another Crawley and Horsham Foxhounds supporter has signed a police caution admitting assault, following the theft of keys from an anti hunt campaigners minibus on 28/11/04 at Spear Hill near Shipley.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: