- 8 updates
Huntsman Julian Barnfield says RSPCA should never have spent such a large amount of money on the case. He says the case was brought because he was hunting in David Cameron's constituency.
VIDEO: Gavin Grant, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, says huntsmen operating illegally are 'wildlife criminals. Interview with the huntsmen coming shortly.
Judge: "Some people see hunting foxes as cruel and immoral. Others see hunting as an essentialand traditional part of countryside management and they say that criminalising the activity is inappropriate.
"As everyone is aware, in political circles the Hunting Act continues to be considered and thiscoalition Government has indicated the possibility of a free vote in Parliament at some point in the future."
Sentencing both men and the hunt itself, District Judge Pattinson said: "Hunting foxes provokes extremely strong feelings on both sides of argument. "Very few people do not have opinion and many have fairly strongly-held opinion. "The hunting debate provoked equally strong feeling in Parliament."
District judge has issued fines and costs of almost £26,000 on a hunt and two of its members convicted of illegally hunting a fox. More to follow.
The RSPCA celebrated the success of its first ever prosecution of a traditional hunt when the Heythrop Hunt today pleaded guilty to four charges of intentionally hunting a fox with dogs on several occasions.
The case, based on footage of foxes being deliberately chased by dogs, is thought to be the first where a hunt has faced corporate charges. It is also the first taken by the RSPCA involving the prosecution of a hunt itself.
Recently retired huntsman, Julian Barnsfield, 49, of Chipping Norton, and recently retired
hunt master Richard Sumner, 68, of Salperton, Gloucestershire, also pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Oxford Magistrates are considering sentencing today.
In the first case of its kind a hunt in Oxfordshire has admitted a charge of illegally hunting a fox.
The charges were brought by the RSPCA, who filmed a hunt in which a fox was chased by hounds and killed.
Members of the Heythrop hunt, Richard Sumner and Julian Barnfield will be sentenced later. Fox hunting with hounds was made illegal in 2004.
A hunt has admitted a charge of illegally hunting a fox.
The Heythrop Hunt Ltd of, Chipping Norton, admitted a charge relating to hunting a wild mammal, namely a fox, with dogs contrary to Sections 1 and 10 of the Hunting Act 2004.
Richard Ward Sumner 68, of Penhill Farm, Salperton, Gloucestershire, and Julian Barnfield, 49, of Huntsmans House, Heythrop Hunt Kennels, Chipping Norton, also admitted the charge at Oxford Magistrates Court.
The prosecution was brought by the RSPCA. Sentencing will take place shortly.