HSA news release 25th August 2006

Countryside Alliance supporter assaulted a hunt saboteur

A Countryside Alliance supporter has been convicted of attacking a hunt saboteur in clashes on the last day before hunting with dogs was banned on February last year. Farm worker, Wayne Spencer, 39, of Oakhurst Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex, was found guilty of assaulting Simon Clear but cleared of actual bodily harm. The incident happened after the final meet of Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt at Petworth Park, West Sussex.

A judge fined Spencer £400 with £700 costs at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 25th Aug. 06. He was cleared of unlawfully wounding another protester, Carol Tibbets. The anti hunt victims of the assault believe the very poor presentation of evidence (including sub-standard copying of video material by police) was behind Spencer's acquittal on the more serious charges.

Above: Wayne Spencer on 17 Feb 06. He told a female hunt saboteur: "See this, I'm going to shove it right up your crutch."

Above: Spencer during the court case Above right: Spencer seen (in rolled up balaclava?) during the hunt disturbances outside the House of Commons during the protest by the Countryside Alliance, in Sept. 04.

Above: stills from video showing Spencer kicking Simon Clear in the head, 17 Feb. 05

Simon Clear after the kicking 17 Feb 05. Carole Tibbits after attack 17 Feb. 05. Her nose was broken, requiring surgery and her head wound required a dozen stitches

The incident occurred at Pheasant Copse, Petworth, West Sussex during a meet of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt. The land is owned by Lord Leconfield.

An ITN cameraman was present during the incident, but forced to run for safety after being threatened that his camera would be "wrapped around his fucking head" by Spencer. Seconds after that outburst, there was an ambush by a number of hunt supporters, including mounted followers.

Above top left: A huntswoman whips Simon Clear as he runs for safety following his kicking by Spencer.

Above right: A huntswoman whips Christopher Black, as he is punched by another hunt supporter. (This still from ITN camera)

Above bottom: a female hunt rider rides down Chris Black as he tries to get video of the attack.

The ITN footage did make the lead item on the ITN national evening news for 17th Feb. 06 when it introduced the Hunting ban coming into effect.

Below: what the jury never knew:

Background to Spencer

Wayne Spencer was a person known to only one or two of the hunt saboteurs present on 17 Feb. 05 but never seen in the flesh by any of them. He was photographed as the person involved in an attack on hunt saboteurs during a meet of the Crawley and Horsham hunt near Worthing on 9th March 96 (the only photo taken during the assault and criminal damage to a hunt saboteur's van.) Spencer is seen with axe handle); however he was only traced some years later when he appeared in the Midhurst and Petworth Observer (Aug 10, 2000) after winning a terrier show at the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt's Countryman's day.

Above Photo taken of Spencer with axe handle during attack 9th March 96: Right: Picture of Spencer identifying him as the same person, Midhurst and Petworth Observer, West Sussex, Aug 10, 2000

Above: one of the Dorset hunt saboteurs struck by Spencer's axe handle during the 9th March 96 attack at the Crawley and Horsham hunt. He passed blood in his urine for days after the assault.

Had Spencer been traced, he would have faced a Crown Court trial in 1996/7 The only person to be tried was Crawley and Horsham hunt terrier-man, Adrian Thompson who said he knew the man in the photo as "Wayne" but he did not really know him, and only dug out foxes with him occasionally. He "could not say where he lived." Thompson was acquitted following the week long Crown Court case due to lack of evidence, and later took up the position of professional huntsman of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt. Neal Buckoke, a Dorset hunt saboteur who had joined the Sussex hunt saboteurs on 9th march 96 described Spencer as "far worse than Thompson". Nevertheless, Thompson is alleged to have told hunt saboteur, Simon Wild, after his acquittal: "Next time, I'll get other people to do my dirty work." He is also alleged to have told hunt saboteur, Chris Black two years before the hunt ban: "If I've only got two years left, I'll make sure you lot are sorted out." Thompson was hunting the hounds at Petworth during the day of the ambush 17th Feb 2005!

Because of the several years delay in identifying Wayne Spencer as the attacker in the photo taken in March 96, police had lost interest, and Wayne Spencer largely avoided turning up to hunts after it was made clear on anti hunt web site (Cruelty Exposed) he was "still wanted by police."

Meanwhile, Adrian Thompson had moved from the Crawley and Horsham hunt, West Sussex, where he was employed as terrier-man to take a position as professional huntsman with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt based at Petworth, West Sussex. Thompson was known as a thug who carried iron bars and wore balaclavas (see pictures), so it might be expected he would ask his old mate, Wayne to sort out troublesome antis at his new hunt! Indeed Spencer stated at his trial he was great friends with Adrian Thompson!

Above: Adrian Thompson with balaclava and iron bar at the Crawley and Horsham hunt. Next picture taken on same day shows him exposed, with balaclava up and iron bar.

Above Thompson at the Crawley and Horsham hunt with trademark axe handle.

Below: Adrian Thompson, who was hunting the hounds as professional huntsman on the day of Wayne Spencer's attack at the Chiddingfold, Leconfield, and Cowdray hunt!!!!!

ENDS