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.
Mums-to-be are concerned tonight after a maternity unit was unexpectedly closed to new admissions.Read the full story ›
Health officials have closed the Cotswold birthing centre in Chipping Norton after questions were raised about working practices. An investigation is underway and in the meantime women are being directed to alternative hospitals in the area
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has taken the decision to suspend, with immediate effect, births at the Cotswold Maternity Unit based in Chipping Norton.
An internal review is underway following concerns around working practices raised by staff and women using the unit.
A number of actions have already been taken and the suspension of births will enable a full review of to be completed. Jane Hervé, head of midwifery at the Trust, has been asked to lead the review and engage with staff, mothers, new parents and the Maternity Services Liaison Committee.
The unit will remain open during the day to provide women and their families with antenatal support, breast feeding advice and support, babies hearing tests and postnatal care.
The review is planned to take around three months at which point the Trust will consider the findings and the next steps.
Births have been suspended at an Oxfordshire maternity unit. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is carrying out a review into the Cotswold Maternity Unit in Chipping Norton due to concerns raised by staff and patients.
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, from Oxfordshire, is to face charges over phone hacking, it was announced today.Read the full story ›
Former News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks and 6 others to find out if they will be charged with perverting course of justiceRead the full story ›