I had a call only the other day and a familiar voice spoke to me.

“Hi, it’s John, there’s been another change”.

My immediate thoughts were along the lines of “Oh FFS what now?” but before I could go any further John (the witness care officer for the CPS) informed me of the change.

“The date has been moved to next Wednesday and we’re back at Peterborough Magistrates”.

Now this seemed a little odd. Those of you who have been keeping up to date with the long running Fitzwilliam court case saga will no doubt already know that this high profile case has now been awaiting trial for well over 2 years. There have been multiple delays due to various reasons including what I believe to be the attempted derailment of the case by the CA and most notably “court politics”, that means not being able to find an impartial judge. The main reason the location was moved out of county originally was to try and lesson the chance of any conflict of interest with regards to the judge knowing the defendants however that probably now makes little difference.

John went on to explain that they had only found out about the changes by accident and were now desperately trying to inform all the witnesses. Was this an attempt to scupper the case somehow by not informing those required to attend? Later on I spoke to the investigating officer and he was as shocked as I. It was the first they’d heard of it and would now have to allocate resources to the day.

Adams_Mease

Adams (left) & Mease.

So at least it was still going ahead and I will be giving evidence along with a colleague from another sab group on Wednesday (4th) while the expert witness will be speaking on Thursday. There are 2 cases to answer, 2 counts of illegal hunting (George Adams now retired Fitzwilliam huntsman and John Mease, current BoP handler) and another of cruelty to a protected species (John Mease).

As I’ve mentioned before the outcome of this case could have serious and wider implications regarding the use of raptors in an effort to circumnavigate the Hunting Act. I believe we have a very good case compared to the normal trail hunting cases we’ve seen recently. In those instances you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was intent to hunt the animal in question, the hunts will use the “accident” alibi to cover themselves and its difficult to prove otherwise.

By using the BoP exemption the intent to hunt is already there. What comes into question is have the hunt staff taken all necessary measures to call off the hounds once the animal has been flushed and has the bird has been released?

Nothing is certain in Hunting Act cases, but given a prosecutor who knows their stuff and an honest judge I hope for a successful outcome but regardless of whether we achieve a guilty or innocent verdict in the eyes of the court, getting them there is a victory in itself and anyone who witnessed the incident on the day will know the truth.

I’ll publish more details after the case along with the video footage I took.

If anyone wishes to attend and make their feelings known on hunting then please do however I ask you behave in a suitable manner.

Comments
  1. helen warner says:

    Hi
    Just wondered if the date at Peterborough ? Thanks
    Helen

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Pauline O’Brien says:

    Let’s hope those smiles get wiped off their faces. Go Sabs 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻

  3. Delphine says:

    It goes to show once again who you know behind closed doors, just not right.

  4. Colin bell says:

    good luck they will try fix it somehow unfortunately

  5. donovanjohn says:

    Yes Good luck,,,but it seems they make themselves lucky by the tactics used in getting round the bane..even if a fox, hare is killed …even if under the Presence of the Police…who just control and stop the action of the observers and yes protesters trying to save wildlife like the Fox, badger, even hare.

  6. John Anon says:

    Peterborough magistrates court has some ! Honest magistrates. Perhaps you will get a new one .
    This should have been sorted more than a year ago .
    We know what they are up to.
    I pray you get a strong and honest Magistrate .

  7. Milly Bailey says:

    Good luck. I hope justice prevails.

  8. Good luck hope common sense prevails these inhuman beasts need to be taught a lesson that you cant get away with abusing and killing animals because your rich

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