HSA news release 21st June 2002
Hunt Supporter guilty, but given "slap on wrist" after Attack on Policeman and Protestor.
Hunt saboteurs in East Anglia are fuming after a hunt supporter guilty of assaulting a female protestor AND a policeman was given a 12 month bind over today in Bury St Edmunds. "This amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrists for him and a slap in the face for us" said one member of Suffolk and Essex Sabs, the local hunt saboteur group.
Hunt Saboteurs had been using non-violent direct action to prevent the Suffolk Hunt killing foxes on 2 March this year. Martin Nunn, a supporter of the hunt who is also known to help out with kennel duties, attacked a hunt saboteur. When a policeman intervened to halt the attack, he too was assaulted. The incident at Wepstead near Bury St Edmunds was clearly captured on video.
Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Nathan Brown commented: "Is it any wonder that hunt supporters continue to attack people who protest against them when this is the punishment they receive? Attacks on anti-hunt protestors are frequent and vicious, yet don't seem to receive the same column inches or response from the courts as huntsmen whinging about the 'danger' we pose by blowing a hunting horn. This man attacked someone using their lawful right to protest and then turned on a policeman trying to uphold that right. The light treatment of this man is especially dangerous in the light of the Real Countryside Alliance, which has threatened to break the law and use violence. The hunting fraternity often talks about freedoms, yet routinely resorts to violence to stifle those who oppose them.
"Magistrates in London last week jailed 2 men for 2 years after an assault (albeit more serious) on 2 police officers. Apparently if you hunt in Suffolk, you can get away with it!"
The female protestor's necklace was also broken. Despite the hunt supporter's guilt, she will now receive no compensation for the damage caused.
Notes to Editors:-
- The Real Countryside Alliance is increasingly being held responsible for attacks on protestors' homes, criminal damage to public property (daubing paint on roads, MP's surgeries) and illegal flyposting. So far they have kept their identities concealed.
- In September 2000, hunt saboteur Steve Christmas was nearly killed at a hunt. This incident did not appear to warrant enough interest by Surrey police and the Crown Prosecution 'Service' for the culprit to be brought to justice. The culprit remains 'at large', despite having failed to attend court on several occasions for sentencing on driving offences.