A member of the Western Hunt was fined after assaulting a hunt saboteur. And the sab group involve said it's a sign of how times are changing.


ASSAULT AND CRIMINAL DAMAGE

Truro Magistrates Court convicted Paul Martin, kennelman for the Western Hunt, of assault and criminal damage on 13 June. The decision followed Martin’s attack on a member of West Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs during a meet near Sennen on 16 October 2021.

According to CornwallLive, Martin dashcam video shown in court captures Martin approaching a sab vehicle asking why their faces are covered. "The kennelman then opens the car door attempting to remove the keys and startling Cat, a passenger, who jumps out of the vehicle." CornwallLive quotes Cat as saying:

“I put my phone up… and he broke it and began to hit me with his stick.”

Martin plead guilty to both charges at the hearing. As a result, the judge handed the kennelman a six month conditional discharge and a £256.99 fine, £99.99 of which is compensation for the broken phone.


TIMES ARE CHANGING

West Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs said on Facebook it is “obviously very pleased these criminal hunts seem to be getting what they deserve more frequently”. And the group told Keep The Ban that this outcome is an example of how “times are changing”.

In December 2021, Western Hunt master John Sampson was convicted after hounds killed Mini, a family cat, outside of her home. Sampson’s appeal was rejected in April 2022. And in October 2021, courts found Mark Hankinson, former head of the Master of Foxhounds Association, guilty of encouraging illegal hunting. Both of these cases, and the Martin case, were handled by the same police force.

“[Martin’s case] is yet another prosecution by Devon and Cornwall Police,” West Cornwall Hunt Saboteurs said. “Times are changing [and the hunt’s] cruelty and violence won’t be just accepted.”

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