Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 16:13 UK

Film delays fox death prosecution

A huntsman who was due to be prosecuted for allegedly killing a fox has had the case against him adjourned while his legal team views filmed evidence.

Julian Barnfield, 44, is a professional huntsman with the Heythrop Hunt that covers Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

He was due to answer three charges of hunting a wild mammal with dogs.

Cheltenham magistrates agreed to put the plea hearing back to 4 August after his solicitors asked the prosecution to serve them with hunt monitor footage.

Three incidents

The case is understood to be based largely on filmed evidence gathered by anti-hunt groups in Gloucestershire.

The allegations brought under the Hunting Act 2004 relate to 17 November 2007 in Cold Aston, Cheltenham, 23 January 2008 in Adlestrop, Moreton-in-Marsh and 7 February in Barrington, Gloucestershire.

Mr Barnfield, whose lives at the kennels in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was not required to attend the hearing.

The Countryside Alliance said it would be giving Mr Barnfield its "full support" throughout the case.

Earlier this year the League Against Cruel Sports confirmed the case was the first brought by the state for hunting foxes, although the Devon and Somerset Staghounds are being prosecuted by police in connection with stag hunting.

That case is currently the subject of a judicial review.

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