Charles Carter

Royal Artillery Hunt accused of more intimidation and lies after huntsman Charles Carter runs down saboteurs with his car

On 10 December, Moonraker Hunt Sabs shared footage of Charles Carter, huntsman for the Royal Artillery Hunt (RAH), running down two saboteurs with his car. The video was posted on Twitter shortly after the incident happened, and shows Carter deliberately turning his car around to drive into the sabs. One person can be seen laying on the ground as Carter drives away.

The Moonraker Sabs tweeted:

A few hours after the incident, the sabs talked to Protect the Wild’s Charlie Moores. One sab, who was hit by Carter, explained about the lead-up to the incident. He said that as soon as Carter spotted the Moonrakers near the kennels, he started hurling abuse:

“He absolutely lost his temper, shouting ‘what the hell are you doing there?’ – I’m not going to use the exact terms he was using – and quite quickly caught up with us. He then forced his whip that he uses to control the hounds with, the handle, into my friend’s face.”

The sab then explained how Carter drove into them:

“He drove past us once or twice and then went up onto the grass, did a U-turn…  I went to get my hand-held camera out, and he was sat right behind us, slowly revving the engine, not excessive, and then just drove straight towards us. By the time I had chance to do anything, he basically smacked me into the side, knocked me to the ground.”

The sab continued:

“I didn’t really feel any pain until I went to move… I noticed my camera being knocked out of my hand: he just got out of his car, looked down, looked at me, and I said, ‘I think you might’ve broken my arm’… He told me not to be so stupid, picked up the camera and went off, left his car.”

The sabs tweeted another post that day, showing the police giving back their stolen camera:

It is, perhaps, unsurprising that Carter would have been eager to get rid of any cameras that captured footage of him running over a hunt saboteur.

The hunt’s version of events

With video evidence of the incident, hunt staff are likely to be worried that the police and the CPS might take action against Carter. So it comes as little surprise that the hunt has put forward its very different version of events. Posting on Facebook, the RAH didn’t mention Carter at all, and argued:

“The saboteurs claimed that staff had ‘driven their vehicle at them’ and that they had taken their camera. They also suggested that the camera was being hidden in the staff member’s car. This was categorically untrue and the camera was later returned to them after it was found by the police – neither in the car or on either of our staff members who were found to have been falsely accused.”

The hunt then stated that the Moonraker Sabs stole a hunt staff’s car keys. The sabs were trying to retrieve their camera, which they thought was in the car. They were also trying to make sure they were safe, having just been run over. The RAH said:

“[The sab] refused to return [the keys]  for a period exceeding 20 minutes and even tried to walk off with them! Both members of our kennel team were then subject to prolonged verbal abuse with one sab even threatening to beat up a member of our team!”

But the saboteur told Moores:

“Our job is to make sure we can keep an eye on the wildlife. Now, if we do start intimidating, we’re getting sidetracked, so we never do that. We will never ever try and wind up hunts. It doesn’t protect animals doing that.”

The hunt also argues that the sabs were trespassing on Ministry of Defence (MOD) land. But the Moonrakers insist that they were on public land. They said, “we had every right to be there”.
Protect the Wild also spoke to Rachel from Salisbury Plain Monitors, who was on the ground that day. She said:

“There’s no surprise at the hunt’s further lies this weekend, this time on their Facebook page, where there’s no ability to comment. They included my name and photo, and a total misrepresentation and defamation of my character. I did not trespass, I did not steal, I did not harass, as proven by full bodycam evidence. I am currently exploring my legal options.”

Police response

The Moonrakers made a call to the police shortly after they were run over. One sab told Moores:

“We had two police cars come out straight away, then an armed police vehicle came out… took our statements… They decided then to go down to speak to the hunt. They came back and [told us that] Carter and Loader are looking to press charges, actually, against us for public disorder!”

Another sab pointed out:

“If I’d run over a hunter, I’d be in the cells right now, and I’d be there til Monday morning. And if I’d got out on Monday morning it’s because I had a good solicitor, not because one of the hunters had a video of me showing, plainly, what is assault with a deadly weapon.”

The RAH is feeling the pressure

The seemingly untouchable RAH staff have tempers that are fraying more these days. They’re likely to be worried: after all, Carter was almost prosecuted for illegal hunting when footage clearly showed him encouraging the hounds to chase a fox. The charges were – conveniently for the hunt – dropped because the Ministry Of Defence Police didn’t file the correct papers in time. The court case would have been the first of its kind: the only time that a hunt member would have been prosecuted for illegal hunting on MOD land.
The RAH is also likely to be a bit nervous that the MOD might take the stance of the other major landowners, such as the National Trust and Forestry England, and ban hunting on its land. Until now, the MOD and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – the estate expert for defence – have ignored the fact that the RAH illegally hunts animals, but as more and more footage emerges, they may well be forced to rethink their stance. The police are currently looking into another case against the RAH and Charles Carter, who is being investigated once more after the hunt’s hounds were filmed chasing two deer on Salisbury Plain in October 2022. Carter will be interviewed by the police about this incident on 16 December.
Meanwhile, the RAH’s attempts to paint hunt sabs and monitors as the criminals won’t work. Rachel told Protect the Wild:

“I am used to their lies, including when they said that I placed a dead fox on Christmas Eve, but then they admitted to the DIO to killing the fox “by accident” because of the power of our camera. It was horrific: I was minutes away from saving the fox, her body still warm as they rode off.”

She continued:

“As an independent monitor and a witness in the past prosecution case [against Carter], and in the further one being investigated against the RA Hunt, I have suffered regular intimidation. If the hunt thinks this character assassination by false information and a public smear campaign will deter me from monitoring and shining a light on their illegality, they are mistaken. I am now more determined to get their licence revoked.”

Take action

Join people across the country and campaign for the MOD to ban hunting on its land.
Support Moonraker Hunt Sabs, who are on the ground, trying to protect foxes from being killed.
You can listen to Charlie Moores’ interview with Moonraker Hunt Sabs here.

Featured image of Charles Carter via Salisbury Plain Monitors