Hunt sabs acquitted after earning praise from judge

It’s uncommon for hunt saboteurs to receive justice in a court of law. They often find themselves in the dock on trumped up charges, with police and hunt witnesses prepared to lie to get convictions. And they seldom get an impartial hearing from the magistrate or judge who belongs to the same social class as the hunt.

Nice then to see four sabs found not-guilty of committing aggravated trespass after a two day trial at Redhill magistrates court earlier this week. A deer was chased and injured by the Surrey Union Hunt in October 2014 and instead of allowing the sabs – who had years of animal sanctuary experience – to help the animal, Surrey Police arrested them for failing to leave private land. They then left the deer with the hunt terrier men who shot it.

A leading vet who testified for the defence criticised the way terrier men dragged the poor animal around by a broken leg and said its injuries had been caused by a pack of hounds. From video footage the police clearly lied about what happened and in his summing up the district judge said the hunt and police had caused unnecessary suffering to the deer and if the sabs had been allowed to help, they would have reduced its suffering. He also praised the saboteurs saying: 

“All of you contribute immensely to society not only in your working lives but in your free time. [on the day] You deserve high praise for managing yourselves and your behaviour.

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated:

“Surrey police have a history of acting as private security for the Surrey Union Hunt…their bias led to the unnecessary suffering of an animal. Despite saboteurs informing the police that a crime had occurred, they allowed the hunt to take the deer’s body and dispose of it and arrested the saboteurs who were trying to minimise the animals suffering. We hope that the Surrey Union hunt will now be investigated for illegal hunting and that there will be an independent investigation into the actions of Surrey Police. Whilst we are pleased at the not-guilty verdict it is disgusting that this case ever came to trial.”

Disgusting but not surprising as the police invariably take the side of the hunt. In this case their lies were exposed and with the help of a good expert witness and an even-handed judge, the sabs won. But it’s a pyrrhic victory because a deer went through a great deal of suffering and possibly died unnecessarily at the hands of sadists who love tormenting and killing wild animals.

Neither the Surrey Union or Surrey Police will be investigated. The best that can be hoped for is the sabs take legal action but even that is unlikely given the difficulty of accessing legal aid following Tory cuts. Even with the so-called “ban on hunting” crimes like this are being committed against wildlife, and the brave people who try to stop them find themselves persecuted by those ruling class lackeys, the police. At least this time, though, the hunt scum and the filth lost!

A more detailed examination of the case:

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