HSA news release 28th September 2002

Hunt Master pays for new windscreen on Hunt Saboteurs’ van - 'the convenient way to buy justice in Northamptonshire!'

The Master of the Pytchley Hunt was left £225 out of pocket earlier today (28 Sept) after his huntsman and whipper-in smashed the windscreen on a Hunt Saboteurs van. Huntsmen smashing protestors’ windscreens is not uncommon. However, on this occasion the Hunt Master paid for a new windscreen on his credit card!

Members of Northants HSA had attended an early morning meet of the Pytchley Hunt to stop them killing fox cubs. At around 10.30 a.m, between the villages of Creaton and Brixworth, the hunt were close behind a fox when saboteurs managed to save it by calling away the hounds with a hunting horn. The huntsman and whipper-in then repeatedly attacked the saboteurs’ van with their whips and attempted to strike the 3 women inside it. As a result, the van’s windscreen was left with a fist sized hole on one side and a large crack on the other. The side windows of the van were left intact due to protective plastic shielding installed after an incident last year when hunt supporters shot at them. Local saboteur Clive Richardson spoke of the incident: “We stopped the hunt from killing all morning and they lost their tempers, trying to ride us down. Then after we saved the fox they galloped past us and set upon the van. The women inside must have been terrified”

Immediately after the incident, the hunt packed up and went home whilst the protestors made a 999 call to the police. When the saboteurs arrived at Weston Favell police station, a police officer had a telephone conversation with the Master of the Hunt, which has its kennels at Brixworth, Northants. An offer was made to pay for a replacement windscreen by credit card – which was accepted – and the police then arranged for a contractor to replace the windscreen. The Hunt is believed to be holding an internal inquiry. HSA spokesperson Nathan Brown commented: “The hunt would not have paid for the replacement windscreen if they had not smashed it. We are lucky that the occupants were not seriously hurt. Hunt Saboteurs are frequently victims of violent attacks. No amount of money can repair a head injury.

He continued "One also has to wonder what would happen if the situation had been reversed and it was the saboteurs accused of smashing the vehicle windows - we would no doubt find ourselves on serious charges. I doubt the police would see fit to ring us up, have a cosy chat and come to an arrangement to allow us to escape prosecution. That the local sabs made the pragmatic decision to accept the payment shows what little faith they have in the police pursuing a case against the hunt."