HSA news release 4th May 2002
HUNT STEWARD GUILTY OF CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROTESTOR'S RADIO

An unemployed gamekeeper was given a 6 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs at Corby Magistrates court on Friday (3 May) after he pleaded guilty to smashing a hunt saboteur's CB radio. Mr W. Playford was arrested at a meet of the Woodland Pytchley hunt at Stoke Albany on 19th January where he was acting as a hunt steward.

A hunt saboteur had been trying to stop the hunt chasing a fox when he was punched to the ground by another man, dropping the CB. It was then that Playford deliberately smashed the radio.

Whilst hunt saboteurs welcomed the guilty plea, they were disappointed to receive no compensation for the radio, which will cost around £100 to replace. They were also concerned at the light sentence and the fact that no action has been taken over the assault that took place that day.

Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson, Nathan Brown said, "Yet again hunting has shown its true nature. Non-violent tactics of hunt saboteurs save animals' lives and are frequently met with attacks and aggression from the bullies in the hunting fraternity.

"This hunt has a reputation for the violence they visit on anti-hunt protestors. David Reynolds, Master of the Woodland Pytchley hunt, is a prominent member of the Countryside Alliance, who have now threatened a 'summer of discontent'. In light of the increased violence hunt saboteurs suffered last season, I fear we will see even more attacks on opponents of hunting in the future until the Government has the courage to do something about it."

Ends.