January 2016 – Independent witnesses report fox kill – no further action
Several independent witness saw the Atherstone Hunt killing a fox in Ratcliffe Culey near to their kennels. One witness reported slamming on their brakes as the fox followed by the hounds dashed out in front of their car. The fox was killed near a pub in front of people having their lunch. The kill is reported to Leicestershire Police. The investigating officer PC Rob Cross fails to give the kill a proper crime reference number. Only after repeatedly asking for one is a crime reference number allocated to the case.
This is the account of one of the independent witnesses
“A fox dashed across the road in front of our car, followed by several hounds which then proceeded first to trap the fox against a garden wall, and then began to tear the unfortunate animal to pieces. The members of the Hunt took no action to prevent this, and it seemed to us that they were encouraging and enjoying the spectacle. No doubt the Hunt will claim that the fox was found by accident, but it was clear to us that this was not the case, and that the Hunt was deliberately targeting the fox”
This is how PC Cross responded to this independent witness
“May I ask – are you certain that the fox was killed or chased by hounds?”
He also said
“On Wednesday I interviewed a member of this particular hunt and also carried out some further investigations. There is no record from the hunt for a fox kill’
PC Cross seems to have asked the hunt if they killed a fox to which they inevitably said no and he seems to taken their word at face value. Saboteurs also made separate reports to Leicestershire Police about illegal hunting by the Atherstone Hunt on the same day. Again no further action was taken and it seems the two reports of illegal hunting, from independent witness and from saboteurs were not joined up as part of the same investigation.