Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 18:51 UK

Monitors accused of intimidation

Crawley and Horsham Hunt
The hunt is seeking an injunction to ban monitors entering private land

A group of hunt monitors has been accused in the High Court of carrying out a campaign of intimidation against a West Sussex hunt.

The Crawley and Horsham Hunt wants to prevent animal activists entering acres of private estate and farm land.

Lawyers for the hunt said they were seeking an injunction to stop constant filming and surveillance.

West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group and Simon and Jaine Wilde, of Bognor Regis, have denied the allegations.

The defendants have also said that even if they were guilty of harassment it would be justified because their actions were carried out in order to prevent a crime.

We are not trying to stop the defendants filming field sports activities
Tim Lawson-Cruttendden

They claim the hunt has repeatedly breached the ban on hunting with dogs under the Hunting Act.

The Crawley and Horsham Hunt say they have been operating within the law since the ban came into force and are suing the defendants under the Protection from Harassment Act.

The hunt and 88 landowners, whose land they use, are seeking an injunction to ban hunt monitors entering acres of private estate and farmland.

They also want an exclusion zone around the hunt kennels in West Grinstead, protection against assault and the laying of false scents on private land.

Solicitor Tim Lawson-Cruttendden said: "We are not trying to stop the defendants filming field sports activities.

"What we are trying to stop, among other things, is constant filming and constant surveillance.

"There is evidence that the kennelman and his wife feel very intimidated by the protest activity in the vicinity of their home."

West Sussex Wildlife Protection Group said evidence from hunt monitors had been key to the prosecution of unlawful hunts.

Mr Justice King will be shown video recordings from both parties during the hearing which is expected to last five days.


SEE ALSO
Judge steps down from hunt case
28 Jul 08 |  Sussex

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