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.
Three members of the Sussex based Crawley and Horsham Hunt were found guilty at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court of Hunting Act offences which took place in January of last year.
Colin Morell (51) and Simon Jones (30) from Stoke-on Trent appeared before Loughborough Magistrates Court after admitting hare coursing at Langham in Rutland.
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.
Despite mounting a legal defence suspected to have cost tens of thousands of pounds, two members of an East Midlands hunt have today been convicted of animal cruelty offences.
Richard Down, huntsman for the Quantock Staghounds was convicted at Taunton Magistrates Court of an offence under the Hunting Act 2004. He is the first huntsman to be convicted twice under the Act.
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.