24th July 2019
A pair of anti-hunt protesters who had been accused of assault following a clash with a landowners’ agent have been cleared of the charges.
Charlotte Mueller, 24, who is studying animal management, insisted she acted in self-defence when she pushed and kicked Edward Lloyd-Ellis.
Video clips recorded by those at the scene were shown to magistrates at Llandudno , and the court heard she was never interviewed by police to give her version of events.
Mr Lloyd-Ellis, a farmer and community councillor, said he’d held Miss Mueller from behind to stop her climbing over a gate at Trefnant in Denbighshire .
“At that point she is trespassing,” he claimed.
When standing on the ground, she had then pushed and kicked him.
Miss Mueller, of Lon Goed, Holway, Holywell , and Paul Allman, 44, of Hardman Street, Stockport, had turned up with other opponents for the Flint and Denbigh Hunt meeting on October 27.
Prosecutor Paul Abraham said Mr Lloyd-Ellis was trying to control protesters’ movements across farmland.
In evidence, Mr Lloyd-Ellis said he was the “police liaison” for the hunt and the riders and hounds hunted within the law.
He alleged “aggressive” Mr Allman had pushed him and “lurched his head towards me”.
Cross-examined by Bethan Jones, solicitor for Miss Mueller, he agreed he had found himself in “more than 20, less than a hundred” similar situations.
Police had an operation in response to hunt disruption.
Miss Mueller said the protesters were there to film and get evidence of any illegal fox hunting. She said she’d heard dogs “in cry” after picking up a scent.
She told the court the protesters wanted to cross land, but Mr Lloyd-Ellis’s arms came around her as she tried to get over a gate. She was
uncomfortable and had been pulled backwards.
Miss Mueller said: “I was thrashing, trying to get him off me.”
She’d warned: “I will f***ing knock you down.”
Miss Mueller agreed she kicked Mr Lloyd-Ellis but said it was “100% defence”.
Her lawyer told the magistrates: “The fact she’s half-way across a gate doesn’t put her in a position that the law allows her to be assaulted.”
Mr Allman said he had attended about 50 hunt meetings in a bid to stop foxes “being ripped to pieces”.
He’d grabbed Mr Lloyd-Ellis’s coat through the gate and told him to calm down, and claimed the farmer had tried to pursue Miss Mueller “like a man possessed”.
Mr Allman rejected a prosecution suggestion that he lost his temper, pushing Mr Lloyd-Ellis and moving as if he would headbutt him.
“I did scream in his face,” he said.
“I was defending myself.”
Defence lawyer Greg Kemp said there was no act of anger such as a punch, but Mr Allman was stopping an incident between Miss Mueller and Mr Lloyd-Ellis.
Court chairman Duncan Stewart said Miss Mueller’s actions were “reasonable and proportionate”, and Mr Allman used “reasonable force” to defend
They had both denied common assault.
Outside court, Miss Mueller said: “We have to stay strong.”
Mr Allman said a shotgun cartridge had been left by someone on his parked car when he had attended court at Llandudno previously.
“We will not be intimidated and go away,” he said.