Posts Tagged ‘Wrongful Arrest’

I’d said I’d be back and here I am and I have to say it’s been a funny few weeks.

Except of course I’m not laughing.

Approximately 6 weeks ago I was woken early Sunday morning by a banging on my door. Bleary eyed I looked out the window to be greeted by the sight of a police van parked outside my house and two officers at the door.

I opened it where upon they confirmed my identity and asked if they could come in. I asked if they had a warrant to which they responded that they didn’t. I then told them I wouldn’t allow them access to my property. At which point they said they would then arrest me regardless, which after I put on some clothes they did. They then searched my house and removed a number of items including my phone, my custom built PC, a camera, a portable drive and some other totally unrelated and nonsense items like a baseball cap, knee supports (years of sport leave you with bad knees) and my rucksack. I was then taken to the police station where I sat, bored out of my skull for 6 hours with nothing more than a couple of cups of water. I’m a vegan, and so should have been offered something suitable to eat as they have a duty of care and have to provide food for all dietary requirements but this didn’t materialise until my lawyer arrived whereupon they managed to produce a disgusting beans and potato microwave ready meal. I would have been happy with some bread and hummus which could have easily been purchased as there is a large Tesco’s directly opposite the police station but they wouldn’t do this.

I was being arrested in relation to the story I published while ago and regarding the Woodland of Death (see here and here). It would seem this had annoyed the right people and the right people had obviously taken this up with the police. Clearly they were unhappy that their wildlife murdering ways had been brought to the attention of the general public and the following outcry had forced them to do something they were unhappy with and so demanded some sort of retribution. The location, Spitals Wood which is part of Quickswood Farm near Baldock in Hertfordshire, is I believe part of the estate owned by the Marquess of Salisbury. Now the police are constantly complaining of lack of funds and ability to respond to crime, even to the point where they are now no longer responding to some burglaries and only issuing a crime number for insurance purposes. However if someone is linked (even tenuously) to the destruction of snares (which are banned or severely restricted in other EU countries) and fen traps (of which some were illegally set – will they go after the Gamekeeper as well?) then they must face the full force of the law. The authorities went to some lengths to find out who I was, shame they can’t put the same effort into other crimes. The charge was officially 19 counts of criminal damage, amounting to around £400.

Quickwoods Farm

Quickwoods Farm

£400. I wonder how much the police time and effort cost to arrest and investigate someone who merely reported on the matter and brought it to the attention of the general public. A general public which are generally appalled by such barbaric devices. The £400 claim is a complete nonsense anyway, the snares were home made and cost pennies to produce and the fen traps cost £4.50 each on line. Hardly crime of the century regardless of who committed it. Was this truly in the public interest, would the police be so eager to investigate damage to your home in the same way? Why did it take a petition signed by thousands, significant public pressure plus complete and clear video evidence of the incident for the CPS to finally decide to act when a saboteur was ruthlessly run down and seriously injured by a hunter on a horse? The crimes are not even remotely comparable in terms of severity and yet the police were keen to act on one and hugely reluctant on the other.

Do you think this is right?

Draw your own conclusions.

I was questioned under caution with my lawyer present. My replies were “no comment” to all of them. As my lawyer said, “It’s not illegal to report on crime or take photographs, you could have taken a picture of a big pile of heroin, doesn’t mean it was yours or you had anything to do with it”.

So I was finally released by some less than pleased officers (I think they had the impression they would get a quick result) without a PC, a phone and all the other items. No doubt they had a good old rummage through everything and gained some nice intelligence. I was confident they wouldn’t find anything else which would connect me to the incident as everything I had was already in the public domain and as expected I received a call from the solicitors yesterday (17/9/15) informing me that no further action would be taken and I could collect my possessions.

Would you consider this a proper use of tax payers money?

So here we are. Of course this hasn’t had one iota of an impact at all on what I do, I’m still hunting the hunters and currently heavily involved with fighting the cruel and unnecessary badger cull down in Dorset. I’ll update you all on that in the coming weeks. Perhaps in the mean time you might like to take a walk around Quickswood Farm this autumn, pay special attention to Spitals Wood. They may have removed everything for the time being but Leopards can’t change their spots, I expect they’ll be back to their killing ways soon enough. There are plenty of footpaths and rights of way but be aware, shooting estates are built on death and suffering, you probably won’t see any wildlife, except for Pheasants of course.

Thanks to Bindmans for their legal help.

Here’s a reminder of the devastation.

It’s a busy time of year this. Whilst most people are recovering from stuffing their faces on Christmas Day or perhaps diving into the scrums that are the post Christmas sales, me and many like me were making their presence felt on one of the biggest traditional hunting days of the year. Boxing Day is always the time the hunts like to get out and meet their public, show off and put an alcohol soaked gloss on their image of countryside ways. Of course the reality is completely different and while the headlines in the tory driven papers will claim thousands of supporters turning out in support the basic facts are somewhat different.

Even if thousands across the country did turn out the percentage of the population is minimal at best. Some brief figures quoted on Facebook recently suggested a mere 0.42%, that’s roughly 833 per hunt (there’s roughly 300 in the UK). Hardly something worth singing about considering it’s their biggest day. For some perspective that’s over 100,000 less people than signed the badger cull petition.

Of course many of those drinking sherry in the cold and hob nobbing with the affluent land owners would probably find viewing one animal being torn to shreds by many others pretty distasteful, if they didn’t I’d suggest there was something deeply wrong with them but it’s a side of hunting they choose to be ignorant about or simply believing the lies about hunting legally.

One of the joint masters of the Cambridge and Enfield Chace hunt, a Simon Bateman told the Cambridge News “We have got anti-hunt protestors here today again, but we are operating within the law”.

Well Simon old chap let me explain a few things to you. Firstly if you’re going to lay a trail I suggest the quad bike you claim to use to lay the trail is in front of the hunt. Secondly, shouldn’t the trail bag be on the rear of the quad being dragged along instead of tied up on the front and thirdly why do you need 4 spades and terriers on the quad as well? Surely trails don’t go to ground and need to be dug out?

As you can tell I was one of the protestors (as they like to call us) there on the day and we saved 4 foxes who all had hounds in pursuit, very close behind them and without intervention would have most likely been killed. Hunting within the law? You sad disgrace of a man. I’d probably respect you more if you had to gumption to openly admit to hunting but just lying makes you look like the weak coward you are. Still what do you expect?

hunter

I did intend to release a full video of the days encounters however I’ve had to edit the footage due to it being used as evidence in legal proceedings. Once I’m clear to do so I’ll include the rest.  It was one of those days when we were in the right place every time to cover the fox and rate the hounds, one beautiful dog fox appeared only feet in front of me. Just one of those times when karma intervened on the side of the righteous. The huntsman refused to call off his hounds and hunted them on but there were no kills. I can’t say too much on the other incident but what I will say is it’s fairly typical, the police once again acted purely on behalf of the hunt and ignored the blatant illegality going on right in front of them. It’s is, quite frankly a disgrace but not something that comes as a surprise.

On that note I hope you all had a great Christmas and thanks for the support and reading my blog. When I started last January I had no idea how it would turn out but all things considered I’m pretty happy to be making a difference in my own little way.

And to all those from the other side – we will never give up until you’re finished. And you will be, it’s just a matter of time.