HSA News Release 11th October 2007
On October 11th 2007 a Brighton Crown Court jury found John Hawkins a 69 year old Crawley and Horsham hunt supporter guilty of Grevious Bodily Harm, after deliberating for more than nine hours to reach a majority verdict. Hawkins, who runs a private slaughter house at Singers Farm, Cowfold, will be sentenced on November 8th.
The case relates to an incident on 29th January 2005, where Hawkins struck hunt saboteur, Lynn Phillips with a stick, causing a "night-stick fracture" of the forearm. This is a fracture caused where a person brings their arm up to defend their head from an overhead blow. The incident ocured at Spear Hill, near Ashington, W. Sussex.
At the time fox hunting was still legal, but parliament had voted to ban hunting with dogs. Hunt supporters were furious, and two months before the incident, the Crawley and Horsham hunt master, Kim Richardson (see video on Cruelty Exposed www.crueltyexposed.co.uk ) issued a chilling threat to anti hunt campaigners: "You are all fair game now, I've fucking told everyone."
Richardson is the son of the late Sir Michael Richardson, who was known as 'Mr Privatisation', one of the highest ranking freemasons in England and a 'darling' of Lady Thatcher.
Following the incident and while Lynn was being taken for medical treatment in the West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group's minibus, the driver was assaulted by a hunt supporter (Surrey Union Whipper in, Andrew Hazletine: see picture below), while another hunt supporter (Surrey Union hunt groom, Joscelyn Cleveland) stole the keys. Both hunt supporters later received formal police cautions, and the thief (Cleveland) who stole the keys paid compensation in an out of court settlement.