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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Farmer sentenced for hunt attack
Christopher Marles
Christopher Marles was captured on video before the attack
A man who attacked a hunt monitor who was filming a hunt has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Livestock farmer Christopher Marles, 45, was convicted of actual bodily harm at Exeter Crown Court.

He punched Kevin Hill from Dorset, a monitor with the International Fund for Animal Welfare, at a Devon & Somerset Staghounds hunt on Exmoor.

Marles, of Farringdon, was ordered to pay 2,500 compensation and jailed for nine months, suspended for two years.

The trial heard that Mr Hill, from Beaminster, Dorset, suffered a cut face and black eye as result of the attack.

Sixteen-stone Marles had denied carrying out the attack on 27 October 2005.

Kevin Hill. Picture: PA
Kevin Hill suffered a cut face and black eye in the attack
Mr Hill was filming the hunt to ensure it was complying with the law against hunting with hounds which was introduced in February 2005.

The jury saw 17 minutes of video footage, which showed Marles confronting Mr Hill and then someone trying to take the camera from him, although at this stage the lens was pointing to the road and did not show the attacker.

Tom Yandle, chairman of the Devon & Somerset Staghounds, said after the trial that the hunt did not condone any violence against hunt monitors.

He added that Marles was not a member of the hunt.

After the sentencing, victim Kevin Hill said: "The sentence, in all, was sufficiently harsh to send a warning out to anybody else that this sort of behaviour is just not acceptable."


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