HSA news release 8th September 2006
Call for police to target the real hunt criminals as case against 7 anti-hunt protestors collapses
The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) today called on both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to target their resources on the hunters, not hunt saboteurs, after the dramatic collapse of a 5 day trial at Hastings Crown Court. The case against 7 anti-hunt protestors was dismissed by the Judge due to ‘abuse of procedure’ by the prosecution side. The case dated back to an alleged incident in February this year, in which saboteurs where present at a meet of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh Hunt who met at Northiam in East Sussex, at which protestors were arrested and charged with Violent Disorder. Despite a blatant lack of evidence from the outset, the charges were not dropped upon further investigation of the facts, but later simply downgraded to ‘Aggravated Trespass’. The 7 all pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ to the charges and the case proceeded to court.
Dawn Preston, spokesperson for the HSA, commented ‘This case beggars belief – but unfortunately doesn’t surprise us! The only thing that will surprise us is when the police, and the CPS behind them, decide to start looking at the real criminals in this whole thing – those sad, arrogant individuals who continue to attempt to hunt illegally, and who will stop at nothing to try to prevent us from catching them in the act. Why is it that organisations like the League Against Cruel Sports have to spend supporters money on private prosecutions in order to enforce the law, when the powers that be continue to spend tax-payers money attempting to prosecute the very people who are trying to ensure it is upheld in the first place? We can only hope that this coming season sees a sea-change in the perception of the police as to who the real criminals are – and also a realisation from the hunting fraternity that their time is up. Drag hunting – or no hunting.’