On March 13th 2019 at Ipswich Crown Court, the former huntsman of the Thurlow Hunt, Chris Amatt, was found guilty of illegally hunting with a pack of dogs.
The case related to a fox killed on Boxing Day 2017 and the prosecution was brought using evidence and witness testimony from Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs and North Cambs Hunt Sabs.
Amatt was also found guilty of assaulting one of the sabs present who recorded his crime. Likewise, hunt member Archie Clifton Brown (who is the nephew of the owner of the Thurlow Hunt) was also found guilty of assault on the same sab, while cynically trying to take the body of the killed fox from him in an attempt to conceal evidence.
The judge Nick Watson, in summing up, commented that the sabs were honest and credible witnesses, whereas the defendants had fabricated a number of lies to cover for their crimes. At no point had the sabs present in the wood had anything to do with the death of the fox and indeed had not turned it into the hounds as the defence had claimed. The huntsman was clearly heard encouraging the hounds and had made no attempt to stop them. Archie Clifton-Brown only avoided the Hunting Act prosecution due to the doubt in the level of involvement he had in the proceedings.
The defence utilised a hugely expensive legal team, including the now multiple hunting act case loser Stephen Welford, and two QC barristers, clearly hoping that their bottomless wallets could buy them immunity from the law.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “Hunt saboteurs primary aim is always to save lives but on the sad occasions when this isn’t possible we will seek justice for the hunted animal. Congratulations to these two groups for having the fortitude to see this process through to a successful conclusion. We call for the MFHA to suspend the criminal Thurlow Hunt and then for them to be permanently disbanded.”