On Monday 14th May, at Haywards Heath Magistrates Court, 3 Crawley & Horsham Hunt members were found guilty of 5 counts of illegal hunting. 2 were fined £1,000 each and must pay £2,500 each in costs. The third, Andrew Phillis is on holiday but must attend court later for his sentencing. Rachel Holdsworth was found guilty of 2 counts of illegal hunting (18th & 25th January) and fined £500 on each count, Neil Millard (joint master) was found guilty of one count of illegal hunting on 25th January and fine £1,000 and Andrew Phillis (ex huntsman) guilty of 2 counts of illegal hunting on 18th & 25th January but not guilty of illegal hunting on February 15th. On leaving court the hunt members refused to comment but Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance said that they thought the expert witness, Prof Harris, had got it wrong and that the hunt was trail hunting and the kill had been accidental.
During the trial, held over 7 days at Horsham Magistrates Court, prosecution witnesses had given evidence as to how the hunt had chased foxes with hounds on several occasions at 3 locations in Sussex as well as killing a fox. An independent witness who lived close to the woods where one incident took place had given evidence that she and her husband had been walking in the woods when they saw a fox closely followed by hounds and heard the horn blown by the huntsman. Professor harris, an expert witness, had also given evidence that, in his opinion a fox hunt rather than a trail hunt was taking place.