hunt sab knocked down by supporter of Cottesmore Hunt

Judge hands hit-and-run hunt supporter a suspended sentence

Angela Jarrom, who ran a hunt saboteur down in October 2022, pleaded guilty on 15 June. But the sab that was hit said her sentence will do little to cool acts of violence at hunt meets.

Jarrom targetted Lisa Jaffray during a meet of the Cottesmore Hunt on 25 October 2022. After spotting Lisa, Jarrom got in her car and drove at speed at Lisa, hitting her from behind before speeding off. The entire incident was caught by members of Hertfordshire Hunt Sabs and Northants Hunt Saboteurs on two different cameras.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association said she hid in a barn while the Cottesmore continued hunting.

Leicestershire Police initially charged Jarrom with wounding with intent. However, Lisa told Protect the Wild that this lessened as the case progressed. Police first dropped down to a lesser charge of attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH), before finally proceeding as a case of actual bodily harm (ABH).

Jarrom appeared at Leicester Magistratesโ€™ Court and plead guilty. As a result, the judge handed her a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months, 100 hours of community service, plus compensation and court costs.

No closure

The result came as a surprise to Lisa โ€“ and not in a good way. She told Protect the Wild that she didnโ€™t attend the hearing because she expected it to be a first hearing only. She had planned to attend the following plea hearing in order to see Jarrom face-to-face. Witness Care called Lisa the following day, informing her of the outcome, and she said it upset her:

โ€œI knew [seeing Jarrom] would be an important step for me to hopefully put an end to the bad memories and thoughts which regularly invade my mind.

โ€œI was really upset to learn [from Witness Care] that I had lost my opportunity of seeing the person who had ran me down โ€“ and I feel that she should have faced me, too.

โ€œFor me, her guilty plea hasnโ€™t brought any closure.โ€

The judgeโ€™s sentencing also troubled Lisa. She said it left her โ€œvery conflictedโ€ โ€“ not because it wasnโ€™t severe enough, but because it felt like an inadequate form of justice:

โ€œI was never interested in financial compensation, but what she has been instructed to pay I doubt will have any impact on her.

โ€œMy wish was for her to lose her driving licence. I also wanted a face to face conversation to be facilitated as I have questions which I will always have about what happened that day.โ€

Lisa said that she also didnโ€™t understand why the police hadnโ€™t added a charge of leaving the scene of the crime. Protect the Wild contacted Leicestershire Police to ask about this omission, and it said that this was a result of the incident occurring on private land. This is a loophole that campaigners are trying to change.

โ€˜Not worthy of justiceโ€™

One significant detail about the hit-and-run is the passengers of Jarromโ€™s car. Footage from the day clearly shows two children in the vehicle, including one sitting nearest the corner that hit Lisa.

They are widely assumed to be Jarromโ€™s children. Lisa said she was concerned about the effect that the collision would have had on them. And, significantly, they were also a key factor in Jaffrayโ€™s feelings about the judicial process:

โ€œI donโ€™t think it would have brought me any satisfaction if Jarrom had received a custodial. To take a mother away from a child would have compounded any distress that child had already experienced.โ€

As a result, the outcome arrived at an unsatisfactory middle ground. The compensation amount is unlikely to bother Jarrom, who runs Ladywood Lodge events venue (on which land the hit and run happened). Greater vindication might have come through an order to โ€œpay a large sum of money to a charity which rescues and rehabilitates foxes and other wildlife which have been victims of a huntโ€, Lisa said.

Moreover, she felt the six-month suspended sentence wouldnโ€™t do much to prevent future hunt violence by members and followers:

โ€œUnfortunately I do not think Jarromโ€™s sentence will act as a deterrent for supporters of the hunt carrying out violent attacks against sabs. The risk of violence is present daily. Many attacks do not even result in a charge โ€“ let alone an appropriate sentence. The government, the police and the courts clearly view hunt sabs not worthy of justice and will often make great efforts to protect people connected to a hunt. In this case, for example, Jarrom wasnโ€™t arrested until the following day. We all know that had the roles been reversed, the sab would have been led away in handcuffs.

โ€œUntil the law is upheld, sabs will continue to suffer aggression, violence, intimidation, sexual assaults, theft and damage of equipment at the hands of members of the hunt and their support. The dangerous element being that they are aware of this and there have been no deterrents thus far to change this. Whilst we are very aware of this factor, it will not stop us from preventing animals from being hunted and killed.โ€

Angela Jarrom gets in her car just before running down Lisa Jaffray


Nonetheless, Lisa was hopeful that Jarrom might face some accountability through community service:

โ€œFor someone who is obviously very affluent, hopefully she will find community service quite humiliating; and I would have preferred her to have received more hours than she did.โ€

In the end, though, Jarrom appeared to have got off lightly. Protect the Wild asked Leicestershire Police why it dropped the severity of charges from wounding with intent to ABH. It said that ABH was the initial charge, meaning the decision to downgrade from wounding with intent to ABH was made before the Crown Prosecution Service agreed to charges.

The result is that Jarromโ€™s actions are the latest in a long list of hunt-related acts of violence that has gone largely unaccounted for. Whilst the legal system has, by design, a harmful impact on all of those caught up in it, Jarromโ€™s outcome doesnโ€™t match her actions.

Her background as a wealthy white business owner thatโ€™s part of affluent social networks means the sentence will have a limited impact on her life. Meanwhile, as Lisa previously said, the emotional and mental effects of the hit and run haunt her to this day โ€“ and may continue doing so for the rest of her life.

Thatโ€™s not necessarily a call for more jail time, though. In fact, the chance for Jarrom to hit a sab with her car should never have arisen in the first place because sabs and monitors shouldnโ€™t still need to hold the hunting industry accountable nearly 20 years after it was banned. The hunting industry must end, and its communities need to find less abhorrent passions.

Lisa wanted to highlight the work done by Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital and the National Fox Welfare Society, so go check them out and donate or buy things if you can.

Featured image via screenshot/Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs