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Hunt monitors say masked man threw explosive device

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 28, 2013


Footage taken by hunt monitors

Footage taken by hunt monitors

Comments (11)


An incident in which a masked man allegedly threw a bird-scaring device which exploded near a hunt monitor's car is being investigated by police.

Hunt monitors Helen Weeks and Graham Forsyth have reported the incident, which they claim took place while they were monitoring the Dorset-based Cattistock Hunt on a public road near Yeovil on Boxing Day.

They said they were travelling together in one car when they encountered the man, among a small group of people, whom Mr Forsyth and Mrs Weeks believe were supporting the hunt, standing near quad bikes near Hardington Mandeville. The hunt was in nearby fields.

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A video taken by the monitors shows the man who is alleged to have thrown the device standing with the hood of his jacket up, with what appears to be a scarf masking his face.

The film does not show a device being thrown but yesterday Mrs Weeks said she saw smoke from the rook scarer, which she believes may have landed under the car.

"It is concerning, we were on a public road, and this is intimidating behaviour, made worse when a person is in effect wearing a mask," she said. "It does concern me that people are determined to stop us and that violence can be used."

Mr Forsyth was driving and Mrs Weeks had a camera with which she was monitoring the hunt. Monitors nationwide say their role is vital to ensure that there is no breach by hunts of the Hunting Act of 2004 – but some hunt supporters object to being photographed or filmed.

Mr Forsyth and Mrs Weeks believe their cars have been the targets of vandals in the past because of their role but are determined to continue with their work, which they say is entirely legal.

Will Bryer, joint Master of the Cattistock Hunt, who did not witness the incident, said in a statement last night: "The Cattistock Hunt enjoys huge support throughout our rural community and is a central part of the lives of many of us.

"We understand that there are some who for whatever reason object to what we do and we respect their right to hold that view, as we hope they respect ours to carry on hunting within the law. Unfortunately there are a tiny number of people who are not so tolerant and who operate a campaign of harassment, causing trouble and making endless allegations.

"This latest story is as spurious as those that have come before and it is a shame for all of us that these people waste so much police time and resources."

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  • Cerdicboy  |  January 01 2014, 10:22AM

    Its illegal to take apart a string of rook scarers and throw them at people while out hunting with a full pack!

    Rate   2
  • GilesB  |  December 29 2013, 10:43PM

    Atomic1964 it's legal to take out a full pack

    Rate   -3
  • nebcop  |  December 28 2013, 8:24PM

    So they are complaining of someone hiding his face, hmm now haven't we been complaining about sabs hiding their faces but I guess that doesn't count

    Rate   -13
  • EJANDODIN  |  December 28 2013, 7:09PM

    We would not need hunt monitors if the neanderthal knuckle draggers obeyed the law in the first place.

    Rate   29
  • Cerdicboy  |  December 28 2013, 7:01PM

    The Joint Master did not see the incident but then goes on to say its spurious as those before - but how can he say that he was then present! http://tinyurl.com/o6sprmg

    Rate   18
  • Atomic1964  |  December 28 2013, 6:53PM

    Yes Giles, hunts are perfectly entitled to continue their activities within the law. However, if they are hunting within the law why take out a full pack. As I am sure you are aware, the law stipulates that a maximum of two dogs can be used for flushing out. If, on the other hand, a hunt claims to be trail or drag hunting then why have terriermen present. It is perfectly within the law to walk through a residential area at night wearing a stripped top and carrying a crow bar and swag bag. However, based on the way you are acting it would be perfectly reasonable for people to assume that your intentions were less than law abiding.

    Rate   22
  • Cerdicboy  |  December 28 2013, 6:49PM

    Watch the video and make your own mind up: http://tinyurl.com/o6sprmg

    Rate   -1
  • Cerdicboy  |  December 28 2013, 6:48PM

    The hunt official says he was not there, but dismissed the event, you have your say via the video: http://tinyurl.com/o6sprmg

    Rate   2
  • Emily_S  |  December 28 2013, 5:18PM

    If the hunt is operating within the law then they shouldn't have a problem with people watching them nearby on the public road, should they? Unfortunately it is usually the case that the only people that are harassed whilst carrying out their legal activities are the Hunt Monitors.

    Rate   32
  • GilesB  |  December 28 2013, 4:57PM

    the point @poxyHarris chooses to ignore is that hunting is not illegal. Hunts are perfectly entitled to continue their activities within the law.

    Rate   -29