South Scotland

Borders fox-hunting trial hears shotgun evidence

A retired police wildlife crime officer has told the trial of two men accused of breaking Scots fox-hunting laws he was waiting in a gulley with a shotgun.

Investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports said they saw no gunmen and heard no shots when they filmed the Jedforest Hunt in February 2016.

However, Malcolm Henderson told a court he had been there with a shotgun.

John Clive Richardson, 66, and his son Johnny Riley, 24, both deny deliberately hunting a fox with dogs.

Mr Henderson, who has worked with the hunt for the past two years, said he had been at the site near Jedburgh on the day in question.

He told Jedburgh Sheriff Court he was present when a fox was flushed from cover and pursued by hounds towards his gun which the law permits.

'Down in the dip'

He told the trial: "I was there.

"I was down in the dip but they (the investigators) would not see me from where they were standing."

Earlier in the trial, Mr Richardson had told the court that Mr Henderson had shot and wounded the fox.

Mr Richardson and Mr Riley, of Bonchester Bridge, deny breaching the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

The trial will continue later this month.

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