18th March 2021
Two men have been cleared of illegally hunting a fox with hounds on Dartmoor.
David Lewis, 50, and Gareth Frain, 25, were found not guilty of hunting the wild animal with dogs at Lake Down, near Bridestowe, in Devon.
A district judge at Exeter Magistrates’ Court said the case against Mr Frain had been “entirely misconceived”.
The court heard the fox escaped after the Lamerton Hunt’s dogs chased after it at the meet on 14 December 2019.
Mr Lewis, who is based at the hunt’s HQ at Lewdown, was a huntsman and Mr Frain, of Egloskerry, Cornwall, was a whipper-in when the hunt and 20-30 fox hounds were being monitored by hunt saboteurs.
The court heard the hunt had been using rags soaked with scent when a fox emerged.
Master of the hunt Mandy Herd said it was the first time in 30 years she had seen a fox in that area of the moor.