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Huntsman Richard Down, 54, of West Bagborough, near Taunton, and whipper-in Martin Watts, 55, of Washford, appeared at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on the 21st August accused of hunting red deer with dogs. The alleged incident took place on 20th January 2018 on the Quantock Hills, Bridgwater. The defendants both pleaded not guilty to the Hunting Act offences and were granted unconditional bail.

The pair, represented by Tim Hayden of Clarke Willmott, will make their next appearance at Taunton Magistrates Court on November 12 for a trial expected to last two days.