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Hunter arrested after attacking saboteur with a shovel

A terrierman for the Weston and Banwell with West Somerset Vale Hunt has been arrested by the police after a public appeal for his location. The search began after the man attacked a hunt saboteur with a shovel on 18 November.

Avon and Somerset Police announced:

“A man has been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into an assault in Mark last weekend.

The 56-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of assault by causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage. He has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.”

The day before he was arrested, the police had published a press release, appealing for the man’s identification and whereabouts.

Shovel attack

Somerset Sabs released footage of the attack. They said:

“Terrier man Brian Pearce and unknown assailant lost control and showed their violent side yesterday after sabs helped 2 foxes to safety and prevented a dig out.”

Mendip Hunt Sabs, who were also on the ground that day, wrote:

“Frustrated by our constant presence, it was then that one of the foot sabs was subjected to an unprovoked vicious attack from two terriermen, who beat him with a spade, and punched and kicked him whilst he was on the ground. His camera was also ripped from his grasp and thrown over a tall hedge. Avon & Somerset police were called, but did not attend. All of this was caught on camera by another Somerset sab.”

Avon and Somerset Police said later:

“The victim sustained cuts and bruises but thankfully did not require hospital treatment.”

Undeterred

It remains to be seen whether Avon and Somerset Police will actually take action and prosecute the man. The fact that the force sent no-one out on the day is a telling example of how England’s police don’t take hunt violence seriously enough.

We have seen numerous violent attacks on hunt saboteurs and monitors, and even members of the public, recently. On 11 November, a Kent Hounds field rider struck his whip at a cyclist. And hunter Chris Mardles was jailed earlier this month for almost killing a hunt saboteur. Others have been left for dead by hunt thugs as they have tried to protect foxes. Hunters also think nothing of driving their vehicles into monitors and saboteurs, smashing up their homes and cars, or threatening to kill them.

Despite this latest attack, Somerset Sabs remain undeterred. They said:

“They think laying into a person with a spade is going to deter us but it just makes us stronger! They stole a handheld camera from him, he held on so tight but was just left with the strap in his battered hand.”

  • Somerset Sabs are appealing for funds to help recover the cost of the camera. For details on how to donate to the group please click this Facebook link.