Charges dropped over ‘insufficient evidence’ after fox dies on New Year hunt


10th September 2020

The case has been dropped against two men who were charged after allegedly allowing dogs to hunt a fox in East Yorkshire.

Christopher Richardson, 72, of Bridlington Road in Brandesburton, and Charles Clark, 39, of Garman Carr Lane in Selby, were set to be prosecuted under the 2004 Hunting Act.

The charges came after a police investigation in January this year into a hunt on New Year’s Eve 2019 in Driffield.

But now the Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued the case just days before he was due to appear in court.

A petition calling for the Crown Prosecution Service to review its decision to discontinue the case attracted almost 6,000 signatures in four days.

Robert Gordon, a spokesman for York AntiHunt League and Humberside Against Bloodsports, was monitoring the activities of the Holderness Hunt on New Year’s Eve and supplied video footage that he captured to Humberside Police.

He said that he was “disappointed and shocked by the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision”.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “The CPS has a duty to keep all cases under continuous review.

“The suspects were initially charged by Humberside Police and the case was subsequently reviewed by a CPS lawyer.

“Following that review a decision was made that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction against either suspect.

“This was because it was not possible to prove that they had engaged or participated in the pursuit of a wild mammal as is required by the Hunting Act 2004.

“In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors therefore, the charges were discontinued.”

Hunting with dogs was banned in February 2005 under the Hunting Act 2004.

But the ancient tradition has continued to thrive in the form of trail hunts, where hounds chase a fake scent rather than a live animal.

It has remained controversial, with foxes and other animals regularly being pursued and killed by hounds during hunts in spite of the law.

Activist groups often attend hunts to try and capture footage of any illegal activity or stop kills if possible.

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/fox-dies-new-year-hunt-4504489

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