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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 18:03 GMT
Hunt master 'trying to get away'
Douglas Hill
Douglas Hill denies assault, criminal damage and harassment
A hunt master denied spitting at a policeman when told he was being arrested at a hunt, a court has heard.

Douglas Hill, 63, of West Hanningfield, Essex, also denied wiping a bloodied hand on the Pc's jacket and hitting two protesters with his whip.

At Chelmsford magistrates, he said he had not intentionally hit anyone as he tried to get away on his horse from a "vicious" crowd of hunt saboteurs.

The farmer denies assault, criminal damage and harassment.

They were really trying to get me off my horse ... they are vicious people
Douglas Hill
The offences are alleged to have taken place during a meeting of the Essex and Farmers Union Hunt at Maldon in March 2005.

Company director Mr Hill told the hearing he and his horse Boris had been surrounded by saboteurs and attacked.

He said: "They were really trying to get me off my horse ... they are vicious people.

"There has been a lot happen in the past in other hunts where huntmasters have finished up in hospital. That was obviously in the back of my mind."

In court on Monday he said when he had asked Pc Craig Bolton what police would do about it the officer had been "not very helpful" but denied spitting at him or wiping blood on his jacket.

Note of "apology"

He accepted that after his arrest he had signed a note of "apology" in Pc Bolton's notebook at the police station.

But he said he had not read the note the officer made of their conversation and had not realised what he had signed. He denied apologising for any wrongdoing.

Pc Bolton earlier told the court he had seen Mr Hill assault two hunt saboteurs and was going to arrest him when the huntsman spat at him.

The hearing was adjourned until 10 April when it will resume at Witham Magistrates Court.


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