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20th December 2012

We Should All Take Heart

In the case of RSPCA v Barnfield, Sumner and Heythrop, District Judge Pattinson should not have questioned the amount of money these convictions cost.

The amount of work which will have been invested in this result will have exceeded all bounds. You cannot survive the process on fresh air alone.

This was a massive ask. Everyone involved deserves the most generous credit for an awesome job done, and there will be many who came together to make this happen. Thank heavens that they did. Wildlife protection via the Hunting Act is stronger for it.

You cannot put a price on justice. We should all take heart.

Posted by Joe Hashman

Photo Copyright © Colin Varndell

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  • Wendé Anne Maunder says:
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    “A new Ipsos Mori Poll shows that 80% of the British public believes that people illegally hunting with dogs should be prosecuted and I heartily agree. It is shameful that his case, indeed all the 98% successful prosecutions, were brought to court by the RSPCA, at great financial cost. These cases should have been brought to court by the Crown Prosecution Service. One has to ask why the CPS has never done so. It is shameful that a charity should have been left £310,000 out of pocket by this latest successful victory and that the sentences were so unbelievably derisory. The costs paid to the RSPCA were £15,000, I believe. The criminals should have been imprisoned and the Heythrop Hunt should have had all their assets confiscated, including horses, hounds, vehicles, buildings, tools and equipment. In addition they should have been banned from ever being in a position to pursue this barbaric, out-dated activity. The Hunt should have been made to pay costs in full to the RSPCA. There is a distinct stench of corruption and collusion about this.

    I wonder though; does anyone know if RSPCA can appeal the derisory costs and the outrageously ignorant, blatant pro-hunt summing-up speech by the presiding magistrate? It reveals him to be totally biased in favour of hunting. In addition it looks very much as if he wanted the RSPCA to be out of pocket after this victory.

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  • Joe Hashman says:
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I know! That line about Barnfield Sumner and Heythrop being unable to afford defence costs! You could hardly make this up.

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