Three members of the Crawley and Horsham hunt in West Sussex, England were found guilty in Horsham Magistrates Court of violations under the Hunting Act. These are the first convictions in Sussex under the act.
Four of the hunt’s members were charged with five separate offences. All pleaded not guilty. The evidence, including video clips, was furnished by a West Sussex animal rights group.
Neill Millard, MFH; Rachel Holdsworth, hunt secretary; and Andrew Phillis, former huntsman (now Master and huntsman of the Dart Vale Harriers) were found guilty of illegal foxhunting. Charges against Jamie Hawksfield, MFH were dropped during the trial.
The judge disagreed with assertions by the accused that they were taking part in legitimate trail hunting, following a scent laid for hounds.
A representative of the Countryside Alliance expressed disappointment in the verdict and promised that the organization would continue to support the defendants should they wish to appeal.
Posted May 17, 2012