ITN Cameraman has to run for life after filming attack on saboteurs

Current Chiddingfold huntsman, Adrian Thompson, pictured before a previous attack on hunt saboteurs

HSA news release 18th February 2005

One of the men involved in today's attack pictured during a previous attack on hunt saboteurs


An ITN cameraman had to run for his life to escape with footage of an appalling attack on 8 hunt saboteurs in West Sussex this afternoon (18th February 2005).

On the last day of legal hunting with hounds, a gang of up to 50 Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray hunt supporters and riders attacked the 8 brave saboteurs who had been trying to stop the hunt killing foxes near Petworth Park, Petworth, West Sussex.

Today was their last chance to legally chase and kill foxes before the hunting ban becomes law at midnight tonight.

Led by well known hunt thugs, including some responsible for attacks on saboteurs and their vehicles in the past, the hunt group ambushed the saboteurs late on in the afternoon beating them with fists, boots and sticks, and stealing cameras and camcorders that had recorded some of the violence.

During the clearly pre-arranged attack (sabs had been tipped off a fortnight ago they were to get ‘their beating’ last Saturday at the Crawley & Horsham hunt), a female sab was headbutted by a large male hunt supporter and a 63 year old protestor had his glasses smashed when punched in the face.

In a shocking example of how the hunt riders were also involved in the attack, one black coated woman rider shouted at the thugs beating one of the sabs on the ground to “get out of the way, I want to ride over him”.

The saboteurs were taken to Chichester Hospital for treatment to their injuries and will be making full statements to the police about the attack.

Nathan Brown 07815 313181

Notes for Editors: Pictured below are 2 well known hunt thugs from the Chiddingfold and Crawley & Horsham hunts – the one on the left is Adrian Thompson, the current Chiddingfold huntsman, pictured here during an attack on sabs some years ago (When he was terrierman for the Crawley & Horsham hunt). The one on the right is Wayne Spencer who was blamed for his part in an attack on sabs by Thompson, but was never brought to justice as the police said they couldn’t locate him. Spencer was one of the thugs leading the attack on sabs today (18th February).

Current Chiddingfold huntsman, Adrian Thompson, pictured before a previous attack on hunt saboteurs One of the men involved in today's attack pictured during a previous attack on hunt saboteurs


Timeline: the recent wave of violence against anti-hunt protestors since the Hunting Act was passed…

  • 18 November 2004
    Parliament passes Hunting Bill. Hunting to be illegal on 19th February.
  • 20 November
    3 saboteurs injured. One has to undergo emergency surgery to save his finger. South Devon Hunt, Devon
  • 27 November
    Saboteur receives 5 stitches to head wound after attack. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
    17 year old saboteur receives broken nose after repeatedly headbutted. Crawley and Horsham Hunt, West Sussex
  • 4 December
    Saboteurs threatened by terrierman wearing balaclava. Numerous assaults on saboteurs including a broken nose. Essex Farmers and Union/East Essex Hunt, Essex
  • 11 December
    Saboteur’s wrist broken in 2 places by terrierman. Essex Hunt, Essex Saboteur threatened by hunt supporter in front of police. High Peak Harriers, Derbyshire
  • 18 December
    Saboteur ridden over by hunt rider twice. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, Essex.
    Saboteurs punched and equipment stolen. Attempts made to smash saboteur’s van window with log. Van whipped, kicked and thumped. Attempts made to drag saboteurs from van. Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, Dorset.
  • 24 December
    2 cars smashed up and dead fox left on passenger seat of car. Chiddingfold Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, West Sussex
  • 27 December
    Saboteurs threatened with knife. One ridden down. Hunt supporters then armed themselves with iron bars and sticks. Weston and Banwell Harriers, Somerset.
    2 saboteurs rugby tackled to ground. Puckeridge Hunt, Suffolk.
  • 31 December
    12 hunt saboteurs injured by mob of 30 thugs. East Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 1 January 2005
    Pregnant woman taken to hospital with head injuries after being whipped and ridden over twice by hunt staff. Essex Hunt, Essex.
  • 3 January
    Hunt monitor’s car destroyed in arson attack. West Sussex
  • 4 January
    2 saboteurs receive broken rib, facial injuries and equipment is stolen. Surrey Union Hunt, Surrey.
  • 8 January
    4 female saboteurs attacked receiving limb injuries / fractures, vehicle badly damaged. Crawley & Horsham Hunt, West Sussex.
  • 15 January
    Saboteurs threatened and attacked, vehicle damaged. Cotswold Vale Hunt, Gloucestershire.
  • 20 January
    Hunt supporter armed with a metal spike punctures sab Landrover door, barely missing the driver’s leg. Duke of Beaufort’s Hunt, Wiltshire
  • 22 January
    60 year old female aboteurs ridden down – receives head and neck injuries. Dunston Harriers, Norfolk.
  • 29 January
    2 hunt ‘stewards’ arrested after attack on hunt saboteurs. Avon Vale Fox Hunt, Wiltshire.
  • 05 February
    2 hunt saboteurs injured, 15 attacked by 30 hunt thugs. East Kent Fox Hunt, Kent.
  • 05 February
    Hunt saboteurs threatened with violence by hunt followers in front of police, obstruction and theft from motor vehicle ignored. Hampshire Fox Hunt, Hampshire.
  • 09 February
    Saboteurs hit by quad bike, ridden down and whipped. Essex Farmers and Union Hunt
  • 12 February
    Saboteur’s finger broken, female sab had head held under water by hunt supporters, female saboteur repeatedly kicked in the head and head stamped on suffering a suspected broken jaw, gang of over 40 hunt supporters ambushed saboteurs. Essex Foxhounds, Essex.

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