Hunt Saboteurs Association News Release 11th February 2019
On Friday the 8th February 2019, after a five day trial at the Crown Court in Lewis, West Sussex, a 64 year old member of West Sussex Hunt saboteurs was found not guilty of two charges of serious stalking.
The charges were brought against her by employees of the Crawley & Horsham hunt after she stood on a public bridleway to see if the hunts hound van had left the kennels. In July 2017 she attended a voluntary interview with Sussex Police and was then informed in January 2018 the CPS had authorised the charges.
Despite Sussex Police recording threat, harm and risk as low, they put the most serious level of stalking to the CPS. In January 2018 the CPS decided to prosecute even though they had no evidence. Consequentially she was suspended from her job when Sussex Police told her governing body that she was a domestic extremist (the judge summed up monitoring hunts as lawful and reasonable) and lost her income. Her life since the charge has been made unbearable; her family life and her health have suffered. On Monday 4th February 2019 the case went to Crown Court for trial, and after five days the jury took only an hour to unanimously find her not guilty.
Present in the court was Kim Richardson from the Crawley & Horsham Hunt and Serena Soames a director of the hunt and also the wife of Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames.
Lee Moon, Spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, stated: “All this 64 year old grandmother did was stand on a public bridleway and watch to see if the hound van had left the hunt kennels. Sussex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service decided it was in the public interest to waste five days of court time to charge this individual with stalking. We wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that the wife of a Conservative MP is a director of the hunt? Sussex Police have no integrity and it’s clear they’re nothing more than lackeys for the hunting community and their influential supporters.”