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Huntsman acquitted as saboteurs’ evidence too biased

A FORMER huntsman of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt was last week acquitted of assault at Hove Crown Court. The judge agreed with the defence that the evidence given by the prosecution saboteurs was too biased and confused to stand up in court.

Jonathan Broise had been charged with assault following an incident on 27th September last year, when Wendy Bridle, a 60-year-old hunt saboteur, was knocked by a horse as she protested at a meet at Graffham, West Sussex

At Hove Crown Court, a number of saboteurs gave evidence for the prosecution, which included video footage, but His Honour Judge Kemp accepted that the evidence was so at odds and so biased that it could not be put to the jury. Broise was subsequently acquitted.

Jeff Hide, of Knights Solicitors, representing Mr Broise, said: ‘The injury to Mrs Bridle was a pure accident without fault on behalf of Mr Broise and furthermore, was caused by the saboteurs behaviour, one of whom had been using a plastic motorcycle chain and padlock with which to hit hounds and horses as well as the usual illegal whipping and spraying of the hounds’.

Peter Setterfield, Countryside Alliance regional director for the South East commented: ‘Hunts are suffering from increasingly violent attacks and spurious claims on the part of saboteurs. It's good news that Mr Broise has been acquitted of an assault that he should never have even been charged with.