VIDEO: Huntsman fined £3,000 after being convicted of illegal fox 'cubbing'
A HUNT master and a member of his staff have been found guilty of illegally hunting fox cubs with hounds.
Johnny Greenall, 52, and Glen Morris, 43, both pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them after anti-hunt protesters covertly filmed the hunt in October last year.
Roger Swain and Robin Ellison, were at the scene filming the hunt with hand-held cameras.
South Derbyshire Magistrates' Court was shown the footage, which showed huntsmen from the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt surrounding a wood near Hilton.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
It was alleged the hounds entered the wood to hunt young foxes, in a sport known as "cubbing".
The video footage shows two foxes trying to escape from the wood, on Suffield Farm in Sutton-On-The-Hill.
One fox is scared back into the wood by the surrounding huntsmen clapping their hands.
Defending the case, Bertie Woodcock QC said that the footage did not show Greenall clearly involved.
He said: "The only evidence on the footage that Mr Greenall was there is audio."
He said Greenall was on the other side of the wood to where footage was filmed.
"Mr Greenall's behaviour was not witnessed. There is no proof he had the shared intention of hunting the fox with the huntsmen."
The defendants chose not to give evidence in court.
But Sarah Lloyd, prosecuting, said Roger Swain was certain Greenall was chasing down one of the foxes.
Mr Woodcock made an application to district judge Caroline Goulborn to throw out the case against the defendants as there was "no case to answer".
This was turned down by the judge. She said that she was satisfied the pair were engaged in illegal cubbing.
Summing up, she said: "The evidence that Mr Greenall was the hunt master is not in dispute nor is the fact that he was there that day.
"Mr Greenall gave an innocent explanation as to why he was there in his police interview.
"But he has chosen not to give evidence in front of me today. This is because the evidence would not stand up to any scrutiny."
Speaking outside court, Mr Swain said: "We are very pleased that the case has been successful. It is a relief to know that justice has been done. The downside to the situation is that the pack of hounds is out there and is trained to kill fox cubs.
"We will be continuing the work we have been doing to put a stop to fox hunting."
Tim Bonner, from the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance, was disappointed with the ruling. He said: "I am surprised at the verdict when there is no evidence foxes were shown to be pursued, let alone being caught by the hounds. The two clients are considering their options."
Greenall, of Wootton Hall, Wootton, near Ashbourne, was fined £3,000, ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victims surcharge. He paid the sum in full at court yesterday.
Morris, of Ludgate Street, Tutbury, is currently off work with depression.
He was fined £250, with costs of £250 and a £15 surcharge. He was ordered to pay the sum at £10 per fortnight.
POLL: Should fox hunting be legal? Have your say on our poll, above right.