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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 12:27 GMT
Hunt master denies meeting attack
A hunt master charged with assault during a meeting spat blood at a police officer, a court heard.

Douglas Hill, of West Hanningfield, Essex, also struck a hunt protester with a whip and another with his hand, Witham magistrates were told.

The 63-year-old was joint master of Essex and Farmers Union Hunt when the alleged incidents happened at Maldon in March 2005.

Mr Hill denies assault, criminal damage and harassment.

Prosecutor Tim Thomas told the court that members of the hunt had been met by saboteurs and protesters when they gathered for the meeting.

Struck protesters

He said Mr Hill had suffered a bloody nose during a clash with a hunt protester and was then approached by a police constable who wanted to speak to him about his injuries.

He said the hunt master had leant forward and spat blood in the policeman's face before wiping his bloody hand on the officer's fluorescent police jacket.

Mr Hill is also accused of striking a woman hunt protester on the arm with his hand before striking a male hunt protester with his whip.

The trial continues.


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