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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Saboteur 'was hit by hunt master'
A Derbyshire hunt master was caught on video striking a saboteur with his riding crop, a court has heard.

Dawn Varley needed five stitches after the attack, a jury was told.

The jury was shown slow-motion footage of Andrew Cass bringing down his riding crop and striking Miss Varley after she grabbed his horse's reins.

Mr Cass, of Unthank Lane, Holmesfield, South Yorks, denies assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 27 November.

Derby Crown Court heard how Miss Varley, of Manchester, and a fellow saboteur lay in wait for the High Peak Hunt, based near Buxton, before confronting the horsemen as they neared.

'Shouting obscenities'

She received a 6cm-long wound (2.5in), at the meet at Flagg, Derbyshire.

Giving evidence, Miss Varley said she was dazed by the blow and suddenly felt her face becoming warm before realising she was covered in blood.

When questioned by police Mr Cass, joint master of the hunt, claimed Miss Varley was shouting obscenities at him as he warned the saboteurs not to trespass on private land.

He denied striking her with his whip and said he was concentrating on avoiding being thrown by his horse as she continued to yell abuse at him.

The trial continues.


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