Summary of latest investigations, prosecutions, convictions and bans. If you have anything to add please email Pip on info@actionagainstfoxhunting.org.

Last update 12th June 2024

 

investigations, Prosecutions and appeals – ongoing

Conal James McGrath, George Colin Pierce, Freddie Osborne and Andrew Osborne, all from the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt will appear in court on 28th June 2024, charged with hunting and wild mammal with dogs. Footage was caught by a drone, and shown on Channel 4 on 28th January 2024.

Anthony Williams of the Wynnstay Hunt is due in court on 15th July, charged with racial abuse.

Marc Birney from the Pytchley Hunt was due in court on 12th June 2024, charged with assault. He was unwell, and the case has been adjourned. 

Four men are due to stand trial over the fox that was killed in a garden in Highham,  Norfolk. The high-profile incident, which took place in February 2023, was caught on CCTV by the owners of the garden. The CPS  has rejected the defendants’ not guilty plea. Edward Bell, Adam Eggingon, and Andrew Kendall and Robert Gurney are facing charges of illegal hunting, being in charge of dogs dangerously out of control, and criminal damage. The case will be heard in July.

East Cornwall Hunt is under investigation for attempting to dig out a fox on Bodmin Moor to send to the waiting Taunton Vale Foxhounds’ huntsman and his pack. Incident happened on 2/03/24.

Warwickshire Rural Crime Team  charged Benjamin Halsall, 23,with Hunting a Wild Mammal With Dogs under the Hunting Act 2004, along with Warwickshire Hunt Limited. The incident took place on 9 October 23. Halsall and Warwickshire Hunt Ltd appeared in Leamington Spa Magistrates Court on 31 May 2024. The Hunt pleaded not guilty. Mr Halsall has gone to Australia, and won’t be returning until March 2025.

The Holderness Hunt are under investigation by the police for wildlife crimes on three separate occasions (reported by Hull Wildlife Protectors on 05/03/24).

On 04/03/24, Leicester Police seized a pick-up truck used by the Cottesmore Hunt to tow the hound trailer. Police found drugs and an investigation is underway. 

on 26/03/24, David Redvers, a joint master of the Ledbury Hunt, was filmed pushing and shoving a female sab on a public footpath as she tried to walk along it. Police are investigating.

On 13th Feb,  North Cumberland Fox Hounds were caught chasing a fox through fields full of pregnant ewes. This is being investigated by the police.

Dylan Brendan Boyle from the Berwickshire and Fife Hunts (Fife are now a clean boot hunt), will be in court on 28th Feb. He was filmed digging a badger sett, pulling out a fox and shooting it twice. NEED UPDATE

On 18/01/24 two arrests were made relating separately to a fox chase (16/12/23) and a fox kill (23/12/23) by the Essex and Suffolk Hunt.  A 32 year old male and a 33 year old male, named locally as hunt supporters Jack Henty and Jamie Price, were taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning. They have been released pending further enquiries

Dorset Police have charged two people associated with the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale with theft and assault. A 33 year old male from the Colehill area is charged with theft and assault following an incident on 26/09/23 in Hillfield; and a 33 year old male from the Colehill area is charged with theft relating to an incident on 03/10/23 in Dorchester. A 34 year old male from the Poole area is also charged with assault and attempted theft relating to the same incident on 3rd October. Both have bail conditions imposed upon them, such that neither is allowed to be near any hunt until their court date: 16/02/24. We hope for convictions and sentences appropriate to their crimes, especially in light of the increased violence and vandalism seen of late from thugs attached to this Hunt.

Michael Speed, terrierman with Cheshire Hounds has been charged, probably to do with driving his quad at a sab. 

Three members of the West Norfolk Foxhounds, Edward Bell, 29, and Adam Egginton, 22, both of Moor Lane in Necton in Norfolk, and Andrew Kendall, 66, of Hulver Road in Henstead, near Beccles in Suffolk have been charged with: three counts of criminal damage; two counts of owning or being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control; two counts of hunting a wild mammal with dogs. These offences occurred on 20th Feb. Additionally, they have been charged with hunting a wild mammal with dogs on 8 February 2023. Adam Egginton and Andrew Kendall have also been charged with intentionally encouraging/assisting the commission of a summary offence. All three men are also under investigation for assault and robbery of a female sab in October 2022. The court date has been set for July 2024. 

Capt Pearson, formerly of the Portman Hunt, and now with the South Dorset Hunt, was due in court on 31stOctober to answer charges of illegal hunting. It follows an investigation by Dorset Police Rural Crime Team into an incident on Thursday 15 September 2022. Tom Lyle, Marcus Boundy were also due to appear.  It was postponed however, as (we hear) the CPS weren’t ready. In the meantime, Pearson has been videoed ONCE AGAIN hunting and killing a fox. Evidence from Weymouth Animal Rights has been passed to police who are investigating.

George Pullen, Master of the Mendip Farmers Hunt was filmed beating a dog with a whip on 24th February 2023. The RSPCA concluded their investigations, but will not reveal the result.  

 

 

Convictions and outcomeS – Records began July 2022

Josh Delafield, from the Mendip Farmers Hunt, has received a conditional caution after he attacked sabs on New Year’s Day 2024. He must also attend an anger management course. On May 3rd 2024, Grove and Rufford Hunt supporter, John Partridge, has been sentenced to a community order, including an 8-week curfew, (9.00pm till 6.00am confined to his home address), attendance at 20 rehabilitation sessions and a payment to sabs of £390 in compensation for slashed tyres. The offence occurred in January 2023.

The Llandeilo Farmers Hunt, a Carmarthenshire based hunt, folded in September 2023. On 16th May, the huntsman from that hunt, Greg Baker, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. When the RSPCA raided Baker’s property, they found five horses suffering from extreme neglect. All were severely underweight and suffering from lice infestations and rain scald – a painful condition caused by prolonged exposure to the elements. One of the horses – a Shetland pony – weighed just 60 kg when rescued. She put on 20 kg when provided with basic care and nutrition by the RSPCA. Additionally, a foxhound was found to have a prolapsed penis and had to be treated with methadone – the highest level of pain relief licensed for dogs. Baker has been sentenced to 20 weeks prison, suspended for 2 years, 150 hours of unpaid work plus a £150 surcharge.

On 24th May 2024, police issued a conditional caution to Daniel Hammett, a member of the Beaufort Hunt. He attempted to drag a sab out of a car belonging to Cirencester Illegal Hunt Watch. The attack was captured on film

North Dorset Hunt Sabs report that the case against the Quantock Staghounds which occurred on the 27 November 2023 has been dropped. Despite video evidence, Avon and Somerset police dropped the case the next day, without even taking statements. After official complaints, the case has again been dropped with Avon and Somerset police claiming they had insufficient evidence.

On 7th April 2024, Charlie Mayo, son of Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt Master Anthony Mayo, was found guilty of Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). He has to pay £1000 court costs, and £3000 compensation to the victim. He struck a saboteur on the back of his head with the bone end of his whip, causing injury.

A member of the Cotley Hunt was been charged with common assault after an incident involving a length of rope and a protester at the Cotley’s Boxing Day Meet in Chard, Somerset. The charges were dropped.

On 21st November 2023,  Sam Jones from the Cottesmore Hunt was found not guilty for trampling a sab with his horse on 11th Feb. 

28-year-old Sampson Richards, from Penryn, Cornwall, pleaded guilty on 21 March to attempting to take, kill or injure a deer without lawful authority – an offence under the Deer Act 1991. He used his dog to bring the deer down and the video records the deer’s screams. The brutality was posted on Facebook. He was given 140 hours of community work, a fine of £400 and costs of £114.

Thomas Ledbury was captured on film overseeing the throwing of a live fox to a pack of hounds whilst he was a serving terrier man with the Avon Vale Hunt. A young child is not 6 feet away from the incident. At Swindon Magistrates Court on 18th of March, he was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work. Previous to this conviction two other members of the hunt had been found guilty of causing cruelty to a fox and sentenced. This incident came to light through seized phone footage belonging to a Hunt member.

On Tuesday 5th March, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Alexander Hamilton, a former game keeper, was found guilty of cruelty and received a 100 hour community service order. He pleaded guilty to trapping magpies in illegal traps in his garden. The birds were distressed and also deprived of adequate food, water and shelter.

Alex Warden, from the Avon Vale Hunt pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty offences. He is the third member of this hunt to be in court after the shocking video footage of live foxes being thrown to hounds emerged. The offence occurred on 20th December 2022. The prosecution was suddenly dropped in December 2023, by the CPS. 

Protect the Wild report that Preston Crown Court has sentenced Dane Crawford to 30 months in prison for animal cruelty. He was also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £3500 in costs. Shelby Wallace was given a suspended sentence of three months, banned from keeping animals for three years and ordered to pay £2500 in costs and to do 200 hours of unpaid work. Much of the evidence came from videos recorded on their own phone cameras and amongst other things they show him setting his dogs onto a fox that was trapped in his garage.

Chris Woodward was convicted of hunting a fox on 14/12/23. (It’s his third conviction in three months.) On Thursday 21st December, Wrexham Magistrates’ Court found him guilty, fined him £525, and he was ordered to pay costs and a surcharge, – a total of £1375. That is not much of a penalty but nonetheless, a conviction.

On Dec 27th 23, a father and son, Robert and Jack Mills, terriermen for the Kent Hounds, have been convicted of animal cruelty. The Court said, “For each of you we are imposing 23 weeks custody, suspended for two years. You will also each complete 150 hours of unpaid work and we are ordering that you both pay £500 pounds in costs and a £154 surcharge each. We are also granting a deprivation order for Fudge and Rose and the RSPCA will seize your other dogs. We are also granting a disqualification order for both of you in relation to owning, keeping, or participating in controlling or transporting any animals for five years. No application may be made to appeal this for two years.”

On Monday 13th November at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Mark Baldwin of the Middleton Hunt was found not guilty of illegal hunting. The video evidence from 25 Jan 2023 was pretty damning, but the key issue revolved around “intention“. The magistrates indicated they were not convinced by the “trail laying” claim, but intent had not been adequately proved. The York Anti-Hunt League thanked the North Yorkshire Police for getting the case into court and the CPS for presenting it.

On Thurs 9th November, Chris Mardles (former whipper-in with the Pytchley and Woodland Hunt) pleaded guilty to a GBH offence against a Northants hunt sab. (The assault took place near Market Harborough on 05/08/20).  He received an eighteen-month prison sentence with a further twelve months under strict licence.

On 27th October 23, Stuart Radbourne, former huntsman for the disgraced Avon Vale, pleaded guilty to being jointly concerned with others in causing unnecessary suffering to a fox.  The offence was contrary to the Animal Welfare Act, Section 4(1). The fox was dug out of a badger sett and thrown to hounds, which meant that it was “under the control of man, on a temporary basis”. He received an 18 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, has to pay £750 court costs and £128 to fund victim services.  

Harry Billing of the Mendip Farmers Hunt has been found guilty of criminal damage to a sab vehicle. The incident occurred in March 2022. He has received 3 months conditional discharge, £622 court costs and £59 to the victim.

On Monday 02/10/23, John Partridge from the Grove and Rufford Hunt was convicted at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court of criminal damage. With two colleagues he slashed the tyres of a sab vehicle. He admitted to the criminal damage, but he denied carrying a blade. He will be sentenced on Friday 20th October.

Steve Paul, terrier man for the BSV appeared in Taunton Magistrates court on 18th Sept, answering charges of assault. He is alleged to have kicked a sab and sprayed urine in her face. He pleaded guilty on a “basis”, saying that he sprayed her with water and didn’t kick her. The prosecution did not accept this, so another hearing will take place on 5th October. Paul changed his plea to guilty and was convicted. He must carry out 80 hours of community service, pay 150 compensation and victim support costs.

The Cotswold Hunt  buried a lactating vixen alive on 23 March 2023. Gloucester Police investigated, but could not charge anyone as there was nothing to prove who put the fox in the bag in the artificial earth. The crime did happen and there was no doubt that the hunt were involved. But without evidence, this case had to be dropped.

On 30th August 23, Ollie Finnegan, from the Cheshire Hunt, was found guilty of two charges of hunting a mammal with dogs. He failed to appear in court (again – he failed to appear on 13 June and 26th July). He is believed to be in Ireland, where fox hunting is legal. 

On 23 August 23, Ms Sarah Mould, who struck and kicked her horse at the Cottesmore Hunt, on 6th November 21 as a punishment for walking away, was found not guilty at Lincoln Magistrates Court. 

On 10/08/23 at Wrexham Magistrates Court, the ex-Wynnstay huntsman Christopher Woodward pleaded guilty to interfering with a badger sett, contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. The offence occurred on 3rd Feb ‘23. Woodward was ordered to pay a £500 fine plus £200 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The fine takes into account his guilty plea and income, and is to be paid within 28 days. The Hunting Act charges – to which he entered a not guilty plea – will go to court in October. Woodward was convicted last month for using threatening behaviour (see below).

On 4th August 23, James Collie of the Quorn Hunt was convicted of criminal damage. Loughborough Magistrates’ Court has found him guilty of criminal damage to one of the sabs’ cameras and he was ordered to pay £300 compensation, and £384 court costs. He has a previous conviction for battery. The court costs appear to have been reduced because he claimed poverty.

On 8th August 23, Dawn Otterburn, a Sinnington Hunt member, admitted using a mobile phone while driving on 17/9/22. She avoided having her driving licence endorsed for using the phone while driving. Members of the Hunt had been advised by the police to take photographs of “the men“, presumably hunt monitors or sabs. She claimed she thought she was following a police instruction. She may not have had her licence endorsed, however Harrogate Magistrates did fine her £129 and ordered her to pay £52 Surcharge, and £85 costs. 8 August 23.

On 10th July 2023, Chris Woodward, from the Wynnstay Hunt pleaded guilty to using threatening/abusive/insulting words/ behaviour with intent to cause fear”. He was given 200 hours of community service, had to pay compensation and court cost. He also lost his firearms licence. 

On 11th July 23, John Thomson, a supporter of the Buccleuch Hunt, pleaded guilty to assault, and threatening and abusive behaviour, at Jedburgh Sheriff Court. He was fined £300, and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge. The offence occurred on 17th September 22.

On 20th June, Wynnstay Hunt supporter Ian Jones pleaded guilty after being charged by West Mercia Police with “threatening or abusive words or behaviour that would cause harassment, alarm or distress to his victim.”. On February 7th of this year, with Claire Daresbury (whose husband is Lord Daresbury and a driving force behind the Wynnstay Hunt), looking on and laughing, Jones … ‘was videoed engaging in a long display of Nazi saluting and accusing a monitor [from Cheshire Monitors] of being no better than a Nazi’. Jones received an 18 month conditional discharge. 
(Video footage of Jones’s Nazi outburst can be viewed on protectthewild.org.uk)

On the 12th June, Christopher Nixon, Hunt Master of the Melbreak Hunt(one of the Lake District fell packs), was convicted of common assault and fined £945. Visit   protectthewild.org.uk site for a complete account. The assaulted person, Darren Ward, had, together with nine other local landowners, sent the six illegal Lake District Hunts a letter clearly denying the hunts permission to hunt on their land. The assault occurred on a public footpath that crossed private land.  The offence occurred in January 23.

Andrew Keane from the Pytchley Huntwas issued with a Community Protection Notice after making threats to members of the public opposed to illegal foxhunting. 

Two members of the Avon Vale Hunt  have pleaded guilty at Swindon Magistrates’ Court to fox hunting offences and animal cruelty. Aaron Fookes has received an 18 month community order for the animal cruelty matter. He must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work. For the foxhunting offence he was fined £833, and must pay £42.50 costs and £330 surcharge. Stuart Radbourne was fined £384, and has to pay £42.50 costs and a £154 surcharge. The offence occurred on 20th December 2022.

On 11th July, John Holliday, from the Belvoir Hunt, was found not guilty of illegal hunting. 

Charles Carter, from the Royal Artillery Hunt, has avoided prosecution for a third time. Carter and the ex whipper-in Guy Loader, were interviewed by Hampshire Police for breach of the Hunting Act in February 2023, but the case was dropped. The police decided that “several witness statements, plus different views from video evidence of a fox being chased in front of the hunt and no one attempting to stop the hounds, or trail layer Sam Bialek filming herself laying a trail without a scent rag on it..” just weren’t good enough for a prosecution.

On 5th July 2023, Stuart Radbourne and Aaron Fookes from the Avon Vale Hunt pleaded guilty to wildlife offences in Swindon Magistrates Court. Fookes was sentenced to 200 hrs of community service and fined £1200. Radborne, who was convicted under the Hunting Act, received a fine of £580. Alex Warden, who was also part of the horrific event involving digging out of foxes, is in court on 7th July.

On 19 June 2023, Angela Jarrom, from the Cottesmore Hunt, was convicted of actual bodily harm after hitting a sab with her car in October 2022. She was given a 6 month sentence, suspended for 18 months, 100 hours of community service, plus compensation and court costs. 

Avon and Somerset Police have dropped three illegal hunting investigations. On Boxing Day, the Mendip Farmers Hunt were filmed chasing a fox. On Saturday 28th January, The Weston and Banwell Hunt were filmed chasing and killing a fox. On 26th November 2022, the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt were filmed chasing and killing a fox. The police did not send any of these cases to the CPS, despite the fact that this is the recommendation from the Wildlife Crime Unit. 

Louis Bridgeman, terrierman for the Mendip Farmer’s Hunt, received a conditional caution for public order offence. Has to attend an Anger Management course (which he has to pay for). Need date

 

On 4th May 2023, Sam Colbourn, terrierman with Mendip Farmer’s Hunt, received a conditional caution for public order offence. Need date

 

Arun Squires, Huntsman from the Puckeridge Hunt  appeared in Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on 16th May for a Hunting Act offence committed 27/12/21. The judge decided that the offence was “not proven”, but also commented that Squires’ behaviour was “deeply suspicious”. North London Hunt Sabs, who gathered the evidence of the chase and kill, said that “the reason [the case failed] was the inadequate Hunting Act” and the “CPS Prosecutor said that if the same weight of evidence had been presented in a murder trial, it probably would have resulted in a conviction.” 

On 11th May 2023, Shaun Parish from the Fitzwilliam Hunt pleaded guilty to illegal fox hunting under section 1 of the Hunting Act.His guilty plea was entered half an hour before court had started session and before the court was presented with the irrefutable video evidence against him. On the 5th March 2022, the Peterborough based hunt were caught digging out and flushing a fox to the hounds, which was then chased in full view of long range video cameras, across a field.

 

On Friday 05/05/23 at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Jack Taylor of the West Norfolk Fox Hounds pleaded guilty to criminal damage committed in November 2022.  He had jumped off his quad, slashed the tyres of a family car, in full view of saboteurs, hunt staff and field riders. When the police attended, the hunters denied any knowledge of any wrongdoing and carried on hunting. Police identified Taylor by the video provided by saboteurs. Sentence is yet to be determined. In their report the Norfolk/Suffolk HS go out of their way to thank officers of the Norfolk Rule Crime Team.

Chris Woodward from the Wynnstay Hunt pled guilty to a section 4 Public Order Offence. He rode his horse at a sab while uttering (well, more like screeching) ‘I’ll kill you’. Sentencing should occur in June.

William Hanson, huntsman, Fernie Hunt, was charged with hunting a wild mammal with a dog on 18/01/22. He entered a plea of not guilty in Leicester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 13th July 2022. He was found not guilty on grounds of “reasonable doubt”.

Duncan and Verity Drewett from the Vale of White Horse Hunt were charged Section 1 & 3 Hunting Act. Also a Vale of White Horse master  is charged Section 1 Hunting Act. The offences took place in January 2021. These are the first charges to ever be brought using Section 3 of the Act, permitting land to be used for hunting. The evidence was collected by the Hunt Investigation Team. On 20/03/23, the case was dismissed by a magistrate because a key witness had a stroke, and the magistrate refused the CPS’s request for an adjournment.

Three men from the Dunston Harriers were charged with hunting a hare on 20 January 2022. Geoffrey Block, Lewis Ryland and Josh Worthington-Hayes were all found not guilty at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on 23 March 2023.

On 05/09/20 Chris Mardles, the whipper-in with the Pytchley with Woodland Hunt, rode down a sab leaving them with a collapsed lung, broken ribs, broken collarbone and a shattered shoulder blade. Mr Mardles was charged with section 18, Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH). He denied any guilt until his court case this morning (Tuesday 14/03/23) when he changed his plea to guilty. Sentencing will occur on 21/07/23.

Sarah Bliss, huntswoman with the Cotswold Hunt, pleaded guilty to boarding dogs at her home address without a licence and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. A dog was neglected and subsequently died from heat stroke. She was fined £2000.

Stewart Masters, a member of the South Dorset Hunt, attended court on 15th March 2023 where he was found guilty of careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident. Sentencing will be carried out next month. On 12th Feb 2022, he deliberately ran into a sab from Weymouth Animal Rights with his vehicle.

 

Georgina Price, from the Royal Artillery Hunt was charged with Section 4 of the Public Order Act for her actions on 5 November 2022.  She tried to run down two sabs with her horse. She accepted a caution.

Mark Harris, terrier man for the Spooners & West Dartmoor Hunt, has been found guilty of an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act (1992). He caused a terrier to enter a protected sett. He said he was instructed to flush and kill the fox by the huntsman Guy Morlock. Mr Harris was ordered to pay a fine of £1000, a victim surcharge of £100 and Crown costs of £900.

 On 15th November 2022, Tim Ingram, from the South Telcott Hunt, was convicted of criminal damage after deliberately driving into a sab vehicle while he was hunting with the Mendip Farmer’s Hunt. He was fined £912. The offence occurred in March 2022.

 

Andrew Pope, a long time follower of the Weston & Banwell Hunt, admitted guilt to the police and was given a conditional caution. On 21 Dec 21, he tailgated a sab vehicle, and used a thick heavy stick to hit the vehicle windows. The windows stayed intact, but Pope forced his way into the back of the vehicle and started to attack the sabs with the stick. One sab from WAR sustained heavy bruising to their knee and side of their body. This aggressive outburst was witnessed by Pope’s young child. Pope agreed to write a letter of apology to the injured sab. If he repeats this behaviour, he will go straight to court.

 

Hartley Crouch, Whipper-in for the Pytchley Hunt ( has been successfully prosecuted by Northamptonshire police. He stole a (hunt member’s) pet sheep, killed it, skinned it, and fed it to the Hounds. The charge was theft. He was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £775 in costs £150 in compensation and a surcharge of £22. Mr Crouch was sacked by the Pytchley and then was going to go to the Beauvoir Hunt. They dropped him, but he is now a whipper-in with the Cottesmore Hunt.

Gamekeeper Paul Scott Allen admitted guilt in Weymouth Magistrates Court. Sentencing is due on 16/02/23. The offences occurred over a period of time. Allen pleaded guilty to seven charges – two of possession of six dead buzzards, and the remains of three more; three charges of keeping banned pesticides and two charges of failing to comply with conditions of shotgun and firearms certificates.

22/12/22 West Midlands Hunt Sabs report that Gavin Field, a core member of the Warwickshire Hunt, accepted a caution under section 4A of the Public Order Act for causing fear, alarm or distress after he was filmed stealing the keys from a sab vehicle and running off with them. He then threw them over the hedge shouting “here’s your f***g keys“.

Matt Ramsden (huntsman) and Rhys Matcham (whipper in) from the Beaufort Hunt pleaded “not guilty” on 25th May in Swindon Magistrates Court to breaches of the Hunting Act. The offence took place on 13/09/21. Trial was due to take place 8th and 9th December 2022, but at the very last minute the case was dropped. This is King Charles’  and Lord Mancroft’s Hunt. 

On 6th Dec, Ollie Finnegan from the Quorn Hunt pleaded guilty to illegal foxhunting in Leicester Magistrates Court. He was fined £656. He had no choice really as Leicester Police had seized his phone and it was very clear from his texts and WhatsApps that he was illegally hunting not only at this time, but on many previous occasions too. For more details, click here:
https://www.itv.com/news/2022-12-06/man-admits-illegally-hunting-with-dogs-after-police-unearth-fox-hunting-texts

Daniel Cherriman, Master and huntsman, and Oliver Beasley, kennel man, South Shropshire Hunt pleaded not guilty to Hunting Act offences in Telford Magistrates Court 21/06/22. The offence occurred on 29/11/2021. This was the hunt that trespassed on the National Trust’s Long Mynd days after they were banned. The trial date was set for 15th December, but Cherriman decided to plead guilty on 16th November and was fined £600 for failing to call dogs away from disturbed fox.

https://www.shropshirestar.com/news/local-hubs/south-shropshire/church-stretton/2022/11/16/

Chris Woodward of the Wynnstay Hunt was been charged with two separate offences concerning hunting. One occurred near Malpas in November 2021 and the other near Wrexham in February 22. The CPS decided to withdraw key video evidence and he was deemed “not guilty”. The report by Cheshire Monitors gives more detail:
https://www.facebook.com/cheshiremonitors/posts/pfbid02ahbSnyiaWBBnMYRoGAePPWnkzgjxi2R94241qABTpioxWrhrmWbjqUssg5m4nHeYl

 

Huntsman David Thomas from Dwydryd Hunt,  who pleaded guilty to running a badger baiting ring at the hunt kennels was initially imprisoned for 24 weeks. He appealed and the sentence was reduced to 13 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.  Original sentencing was 7th November 2022

On 18 October 2022, Mark Pearson of the South Dorset Hunt was been found guilty of fox hunting. The penalty is, £6,000 fine, £190 victim surcharge, and £620 costs.  His blatant lying in court is very disconcerting. He had killed one fox earlier in the day and the police deemed it an accident and allowed him to continue hunting. It was fortunate that the second kill was recorded by a monitors with cameras. The judge held that he should have had his hounds under control. The offence occurred on 13th December 2021. Mr Pearson’s appeal, however, was successful. The judge decided that Mr Pearson couldn’t manage to control the hounds as he ran out of “puff”.

A game keeper, Matthew Stroud, has admitted illegally shooting and poisoning birds of prey. He received (from Norwich Magistrates’ Court) a 12 month community order, was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and fined £692.

Two men, from the Wynnstay Hunt, Jamie Barnes, of Nottingham, and Ben Lloyd Davies from Welshpool have been found guilty at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court of interfering with badger setts at a farm in Wrexham in August 2021. The court heard that at the time, Barnes had been employed by the Wynnstay Hunt, and “had been asked to get a rogue (bagged) fox” ahead of the following day’s hunt. They were each fined £1000, £600 costs and £100 victim surcharge.
 

On September 21st in Yeovil Magistrates Court, a member of the Seavington Hunt pleaded guilty to offences under the Hunting Act. This was the person caught on video releasing a bagged fox. He was not, however, convicted for this appallingly cruel act, as the second charge  “causing unnecessary suffering to an animal” was withdrawn. We think this was some sort of a deal. Admitting to using a bagged fox would be disastrous for the hunts, so they settled for breach of the Hunting Act instead. The fine was £180. The offence occurred on 5th March 2022.
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Ben Porter, terrierman for the Hereford and Clifton Hunt was found guilty in Worcester Crown Court on 21/09/22. These were the charges:

Failure to stop after an accident
Failure to report an accident
Driving with undue care and attention, causing injury
No insurance
Incorrect licence (too many passengers on quad bike)
No Mot
Driving an unregistered quad bike on a public road

This happened during a foxhunt on 5th March. Among other crimes, this man drove a quadbike at speed, hitting and injuring a sab.
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In October 2020 Sam Jamie Mepham, from the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Foxhunt, took it upon himself to drive his very large tractor into a sab vehicle, repeatedly. The incident was filmed and he pleaded guilty to an offence which resulted in a sentence of 12 months community service and a 12 month driving ban. He has previously been convicted of killing a wild animal with a crossbow and possession of ammunition without a certificate.

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John Bennett Wright was part of a group of hunt supporters that dragged a lone and disabled sab from his vehicle and assaulted him. John Bennett Wright, a thug associated with Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire (L and R) Fox Hounds was today sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and 180 hours unpaid community work and paying £500 to his victim.

Ryan Sinclair another supporter incurred a £400 fine. Previous to the attack on the disabled sab, he had been responsible for slashing two tyres and he was also part of the group that attacked the disabled sab.
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The huntsman of the Iveagh Hunt, a Northern Ireland hunt, Jack Harris, has been fined £500 after a pack of hounds killed a cat and bit a man during a fox hunt. He also had to pay £1200 court costs and £15 offender’s levy. Mr Harris did not appear in court as he was thought to have removed himself to England.
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J W, a terrier man from the Mendip Farmers Hunt has received a caution for criminal damage.
Click here for more details

Paul Martin (60), from the Western Hunt has been found guilty of assaulting a sab with his walking stick. The offence occurred on 16/10/21 and he has received a fine and required to pay compensation for breaking a phone.
Click here for more details

Paul O’Shea, a terrier man with the East Essex Hunt was convicted under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 20065 and Section 1 of the Hunting Act. . He was videoing stabbing a live fox with a garden fork. He received a suspended sentence of 18 weeks, and community service.

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Last year two terriermen for the Eggesford Hunt were convicted for interfering with an active badger sett. Seward Folland and Nathan Bowes were due to attend Exeter Crown Court, on 4th July 2022, to appeal their conviction but they made a last-minute decision to abandon their appeal.

Charles Carter of the Royal Artillery Hunt has had his court appearance adjourned once again. He was due to appear on 16/6 for a plea hearing, but the court ran out of time. Swindon Magistrates Court. UPDATE – the case has been dropped due to a “legal technicality”. Salisbury Plain Monitors have now released the video footage, details of the case and the reasons why it was dropped. This one is a serious miscarriage of justice. More details here: https://www.huntsabs.org.uk/royal-artillery-hunt-a-licence-to-kill/

Mark Hankinson’s appeal was successful. While he is no longer a convicted criminal, the fall out from the original conviction is still very much with us. Not only are his words “trail hunting is a smokescreen” still relevant but all the land bans (National Trust, Natural Resources Wales and the Lake District National Park) stayed. Damage was done and the hunts can’t go back and undo it.

 

Bans and other terrible news (for the hunts, that is)

 

Land Access

The Cotswold Hunt has been banned by the Miserden Estate after film emerged of a vixen buried alive by the hunt. 

The North York Moors National Park Authority has banned hunting on its Levisham Estate.
This comes after East Yorkshire Coast Hunt Sabs caught the Saltersgate Farmers Hunt earlier this year digging into a badger sett on the estate to get to a fox who had taken refuge within it.

 

Late District National Park Authority has banned all Fox and Trail Hunting from the land it controls. Despite Mark Hankinson’s successful appeal, the National Trust is not lifting its ban. Forestry England have also not lifted theirs. 

Natural Resources Wales have upheld their decision to ban trail hunting on their land. That keeps them in line with the National Trust and the Lake District National Park Authority.

The Herefordshire and Clifton Hunt will no longer be able to access Bromyard Downs thanks to a unanimous vote by the Commoners to ban hunting. Bromyard Downs consists of 242 acres of mainly open access common land east of Bromyard, as well as some farmland.

 

Country Show Bans

Hound Parade Cancelled at The Great Yorkshire Show

Pubs and other Businesses

The Jamaica Inn permanently banned the East Cornwall Hunt from meeting at the pub. The pub has been sold, but the new owners also won’t host them. 

Th Blue Boar Pub in Maldon refused to host the Essex with Farmers and Union Hunt for their New Year’s Day Meet. 

Point to Point

No more point to point at Barbury Castle. Uneconomical for the race course, apparently.
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Finished Hunts

The Atherstone Hunt has gone into voluntary liquidation and their land is to be sold for development.

The Tanatside Hunt has folded, partly through lack of land available for hunting.

North Norfolk Harriers has folded.

The Herefordshire Hunt has merged with the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt, becoming the Hereford and Clifton Hunt. One hunt, instead of two.

The Tetcott Hunt has folded. 

19 Jan 23 – Airedale Beagles are disbanding! This is a Yorkshire based hare-hunting pack.