This is the warrant that West Mercia Police used to search the home of a HIT (Hunt Investigation Team) investigator whilst they were supposed to be investigating the cub killers of the South Herefordshire Hunt.
Read the full account below from the investigator concerned, read it to the end and prepare to be shocked. Please share widely. HIT.
We have all been outraged by the leniency of the sentences handed out to Paul Oliver and Hannah Rose for the offences, captured by the Hunt Investigation Team in May 2016.
Sadly, this is not the first hurdle HIT has had to overcome and it will not be the last.
On the 18th September 2017, the HIT investigator who took the bodies of the fox cubs and footage to the police received a call from a senior police officer from West Mercia Police asking to meet her. Explaining she was at work they agreed to meet at a motorway services to answer questions relating to the case.
Our investigator met with two police officers and she recorded the conversation.
At the meeting she was questioned about her ‘relationship’ with the police officer who received the bodies of the dead fox cubs. She only met this officer for the first time on the day the cubs were taken to Ross police station and there was no ‘relationship’.
At the end of the meeting the police officer stated: “I do believe everything you have said, but I had not met you before. I need to tell you the we have obtained a warrant and police officers are, at this moment are searching your home.”
The Investigator returned home to find a copy of the warrant (unsigned) and phones, laptops, diaries and documents had been removed.
In order to secure a search warrant for our investigator’s home, who was at that time a police witness and had not committed any offence, the police required recent, credible evidence that an offence had taken place.
So what ‘evidence’ did West Mercia Police have in order to apply for a search warrant from Birmingham Magistrates?
A business associate of one of the hunt masters and his wife a serving West Mercia Police Officer who sponsored the South Herefordshire Hunt Point to Point and whose Facebook was littered with friends connected to the hunt including hunt masters simply had to make a false statement to the effect that our investigator had a relationship with the police officer who initially received the evidence.
We believe that this was an attempt to pervert the course of justice. Indeed, it delayed the case by almost 2 years, a factor that the judge considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing and which contributed to a non-custodial sentence.
Of course, the investigation ultimately found that there was no affair so our investigator contacted West Mercia Police to make a complaint against the officer who had secured the warrant on such inadequate evidence and the serving police officer who made the allegation.
Given the seriousness, we assumed that West Mercia Police would be keen to establish what had happened.
Within a day our investigator received a call from West Mercia Police and an officer stated that he had been tasked with investigating the complaint. HIT explained the police officer who made the false allegation was connected to the South Herefordshire Hunt ( evidence that it took our investigators using OSINT – Open Source Intelligence just 30 minutes to find..)
He was provided with all the details of the allegations and name of the police officer. At the end of the conversation, the police officer stated that he sat three seats from the named police officer and he couldn’t investigate as it would be ‘awkward’.
It was passed to another police officer who requested all our evidence. As we were keen to resolve this prior to the trial going ahead we pushed for an outcome.
West Mercia Police dragged their feet and to date no determination has been made against either the police officer and her husband who made the false allegation or the officer who made secured and executed a warrant based on a lie. Indeed, the last time HIT heard from this investigating officer was the 27th September 2018 when we requested that he call us and he simply sent an email with a phone number.
We are now preparing a case for the IPCC to look at why West Mercia Police so readily believed the unfounded allegation of someone with close ties to the South Herefordshire Hunt, how they were able to secure a warrant on this information and why they have failed to conclude the investigation into the behaviour of these police officers.
Finally, the unsigned, undated warrant does not talk about evidence that the HIT investigator was communicating with a police officer but a search for
‘Telecom and electronic equipment capable of communicating with members of the Anti Hunt Investigation team or hunt masters.’
Fishing trip or attempt to damage the case? You decide.