Quote from Grove & Rufford Hunt: "It is important that members of the public realise that meets are for the purpose of legal hunting, and do not waste police time reporting supposed breaches of the Act.” lol!
Three members of the Nottinghamshire based Grove and Rufford Hunt have been found guilty of illegal hunting at Mansfield Magistrates Court today. Huntsman Paul Larby, 57, terrierman (trail-layer) Peter White, 57, and the hunt’s whipper-in Jane Wright, 63, were fined for their part in the hunt.
The three were found guilty after the court were shown photographs taken by two members of the public who came across the hunt near Rainham, Letford, on 30th January 2016 while going birdwatching.
JUDGE NOT CONVINCED BY HUNTERS
Reaching his conclusion after a three day trial, district judge Tim Spruce said: “It’s an inescapable conclusion that the Grove and Rufford Hunt were hunting foxes and not artificial scent trails. “They maintained they were engaged in trail laying, but I am not convinced that this was the case.”
Sonn Macmillan Walker Blog - Tim Walker
Tim is noted in the Legal 500 as 'highly rated' and 'very impressive'. Chambers legal directory comments, "The 'excellent' Tim Walker stands out for 'swiftly identifying the issues in a case and fighting very hard for his clients.' Practising as a solicitor advocate, he is 'extremely bright' and 'hugely experienced' in criminal defence."
Aggravated Trespass - defending hunt monitors
I recently acted for a number of clients who were charged with aggravated trespass. They were accused of disrupting the lawful activity of the Waveney Harriers who traditionally hunted live quarry and who now hunt a false scent laid by a human.
It was the prosecution case that the defendants (for some unspecified reason) chose to disrupt this entirely lawful activity and spoil the fun of a group of people who were simply riding around the countryside for fun.
"All of you contribute immensely to society not only in your working lives but in your free time. [on the day] You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour." http://tinyurl.com/pzxa59j
Hunt saboteurs association Press Release 25th March 2015
The League Against Cruel Sports says:
“The problem is not with the law. It’s with those that flout it. It is time to now build on the successes of first ten years and strengthen the Hunting Act to ensure the spirit of the Act is fulfilled. We urge all political parties to support our call to strengthen the Act and commit to these three changes in their election manifestos.”
Wooler Report: Verdict
Hunts are engaging in 'widespread and public disregard for the law'
“The present situation is currently unsatisfactory. The volume of footage available (taken by hunt monitors) leaves the objective viewer in no doubt on the balance of probabilities that it is ‘business as usual’ for many hunts because enforcement is so difficult.
“Such widespread and public disregard for the law is likely to bring Parliament and the criminal justice system into disrepute.” Mr Wooler added that hunts were routinely breaking the law because the punishments for being caught are so small.
Mr Wooler said the Society should lobby Parliament for the Hunting Act to be made even tougher, to make it easier – and cheaper – to prosecute hunts.
Independent review of the RSPCA’s policy on prosecuting animal cruelty - Stephen Wooler - September 2014
When dismissing an appeal by two hunt employees convicted of breaching hunting laws. Judge Michael Pert QC confirmed the convictions and accused the Fernie Hunt of using the "cover of trail hunting as a cynical subterfuge."
Judge Pert also said: "It is clear to us that the hunt was hunting a live fox." Leicester Crown Court October 2011
“I would agree that the enforcement of this Act is fraught with difficulties especially when the Prosecution have to show the elements of an offence beyond all reasonable doubt”.
Letter from Mark Moorcroft, Senior Crown Prosecutor, Thames Valley Crown Prosecution Service, to POWA Associate -12th September 2007.
“The Government is absolutely clear that the Hunting Act must be complied with as we cannot pick and choose what laws we obey in a democratic society.”
Letter from Vernon Coaker MP, Secretary of State to the Home Office, to a serving MP - 26th March 2008.
“Having been a wildlife crime officer and investigation officer for many years and having carried out multiple operations and gained valuable intelligence, I believe there is widespread flouting of the Hunting Act across the country and it not just applicable to the North of England..."
Andy Swinburne, former Northumbria police officer and undercover investigator at the centre of three Northumberland huntsmen’s convictions - October 2014.
“I am aware that some people would like to see changes in the exemptions in the Act, including the Gamekeepers’ Exemption.”
Letter to POWA Associate from Hilary Benn MP - 23rd March 2010
"It's not the police we've got to watch, it's the antis with their video cameras." -
Graham Bridgeman - Chairman of the Eggesford Hunt.
"We have passed a law which is an ass, It is a law that cannot be implemented. It could only be implemented with a ridiculous distortion of policing priorities. It worries me that in very rural communities where the long arm of the law has difficulty in reaching at the best of times, young people see a well-known and quite controversial piece of law which can be and is broken with impunity. You wonder what message this sends to them about drink-driving and other law."
Senior Lib Dem Sir Nick Harvey calls on coalition to reconsider 'routinely ignored' law.
CSHA: Even one of hunting's biggest supporters seems to agree with us...
“...I do not think the Hunting ban is working and, in my view, the law has been brought into disrepute. …..As you may know, I have always personally been opposed to a ban. I do not, however, believe that it is right to break the law, even when the law is faulty.”
Letter to constituent from David Cameron (now Prime Minister) dated 29 February 2008.
“The laws concerning fox hunting contain so many loop holes it is extremely hard to enforce and achieving a successful prosecution has proven to be very difficult indeed. It is true that some hunts are willing to exploit these loop holes to hunt unlawfully.”
Letter from Patrick Devereux, Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector, North Warwickshire Police, to POWA Associate
"It is difficult to interpret and apply and difficult for the CPS to prosecute."
Judge Daniel Curtis, of the Hunting Act. He had to acquit 3 members of the Holderness FH of illegal hunting because of insufficient evidence of intent - August 2013.
“We observe at the outset that the experience of this case has led us to the conclusion that the (Hunting Act) is far from simple to interpret or to apply: it seems to us that any given set of facts may be susceptible to differing interpretations. The result is an unhappy state of affairs which leaves all those involved in a position of uncertainty.”
Judge Graham Cottle and two lay magistrates overturning the conviction of Tony Wright, Exeter Crown Court - 30th November 2007.
“The Act is difficult to enforce, as there are so many exemptions… “
Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor of the Daily Telegraph and BBC commentator on law - April 2007.
“Unfortunately the wording of the Act is ambiguous.”
Professor Sir Patrick Bateson appearing as a witness for the League Against Cruel Sports against the Quantock Staghounds - 22nd May 2007.
“We have a very clear position on this, there will be a free vote, and if there is a vote to repeal the hunting ban there will be a government Bill in government time. It’s quite clear it isn’t working, there are more people hunting than ever before. The law is being made to look an idiot, and that isn’t a good situation to be in.”
Mr Cameron in an interview with the Western Mail, three years to the day since the ban became law dated 19 February 2008.