FOUR people are on trial this week, accused of illegal foxhunting in Horsham District.
Henry James Hawksfield, 59, of Bines Road, Partridge Green, Rachael Holdsworth of Rock Road, Washington, Neill Millard, 45, of Dragons Lane, Shipley, and Andrew Phillis, 50, of Halwell, Totnes, Devon, have been charged under the Hunting Act 2004.
Prosecutor Walton Hornsby claimed in court that foxes were illegally hunted at three Crawley and Horsham Hunt meets in January and February last year.
At the third meet, he said, a fox was killed by the hunt’s hounds.
The four defendants say they were out trail hunting - following an artificially laid scent rather than an animal - and did not plan to hunt or kill any foxes.
Mr Hornsby said the court would have to decide whether the defendants really had been out hunting for foxes, or whether they had been trail hunting ‘where any pursuit or killing of foxes was accidental, and incidental to their purpose’.
The incidents are alleged to have happened on January 18 near Southwater, on January 25 near Shermanbury and on February 15 near Twineham.
For the full story, read this week’s County Times.