Two members of the Oxfordshire based Heythrop Hunt former huntsman Julian Barnfield and recently retired joint master Richard Sumner pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates Court to four charges of illegally hunting foxes with dogs. The Heythrop Hunt Ltd also pleaded guilty to the same four charges.
Following the convictions in August of two members of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt for illegally hunting foxes the National Trust has agreed not to grant a licence for the hunt on its land. The ban comes after hunt master the Honourable John Edward Greenall and Glen Morris were convicted at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court for illegally hunting foxes last October at Sutton on the Hill.
A hunt master of the Meynell and South Staffordshire Hunt and a member of his staff were found guilty at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court of illegally hunting fox cubs with dogs. Hunt master the Honourable John Edward Greenall, brother of the Baron of Daresbury, was fined £3,000 and was ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
The Heythrop Hunt and four of it’s members are being prosecuted by the RSPCA for 45 alleged offences under the Hunting Act 2004. They denied illegally hunting foxes with dogs during incidents that took place during the spring of 2012.
Huntsman Derek Hopkins and terriermen Kevin Allen of the Leicestershire based Fernie Hunt had their appeal dismissed at Leicester Crown Court. They had each been found guilty at Harborough Magistrates Court earlier in the year of hunting a wild mammal with dogs and for interfering with a badger sett during an incident which took place in January 2010.
Official figures released today show convictions almost doubled in 2009 compared with 2008. Fifty-seven people were convicted of offences under the Hunting Act in 2009, according to Ministry of Justice figures, bringing to a total of 145 the number of people convicted between the coming into force of the Act in February 2005 an the end of 2009.