Sussex

Three Sussex hunters guilty of illegal fox hunting

Three members of a West Sussex hunt have been found guilty of illegal fox hunting.

Andrew Phillis, Rachel Holdsworth and Neill Millard were convicted at Haywards Heath Magistrates' Court of hunting a wild mammal with dogs.

The defendants were members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt.

The judge did not accept they were taking part in legitimate trail hunting in January 2011, where a scent is laid for hounds to follow.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the three were filmed by hunt monitors on two separate occasions.

Holdsworth, of Rock Road, Pulborough, and Millard, of Dragons Lane, Shipley, received fines of £1,500 and were ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

Phillis, of Halwell, Totnes, in Devon, is yet to be sentenced.

District Crown Prosecutor Mark Bishop said: "The defendants claimed that the foxes seen on film being chased by the hunt's hounds were not being hunted intentionally and that the hounds were following an artificial scent.

"We were able to fully utilise footage from hunt monitors, which clearly showed a fox being pursued by hounds on two separate occasions within a week.

"Their pursuit and hunting of foxes was not accidental, but intentional."

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