Case against badger cull ac­tivist dropped

Warwickshire Telegraph - - NEWS - Tele­graph Re­porter

THE only per­son in the UK to be ac­cused of breach­ing last year’s badger cull in­junc­tion has been cleared af­ter the prose­cu­tion dropped the case.

Cathy Scott, 37, of Pepys Cor­ner, Tile Hill, Coven­try, was al­leged to have run into a badger killing field at Tib­ber­ton, near Glouces­ter, shout­ing and wav­ing a torch on Oc­to­ber 3 last year.

She had de­nied breach­ing a High Court in­junc­tion ban­ning any­one from protest­ing within 100 me­tres of lo­cal homes or us­ing torches, LED lights and cam­era flashes near the badger cull zone.

Yes­ter­day at Glouces­ter crown court, where she had been fac­ing a jury trial in Septem­ber, the Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice an­nounced it was not pro­ceed­ing with the charge.

At the last hear­ing of the case in March the de­fence had said it would mount a chal­lenge to the charge on le­gal grounds, That le­gal ar­gu­ment was to have been heard yes­ter­day.

But at the lat­est hear- ing, pros­e­cu­tor Tim Greaves said that fol­low­ing the plea and case man­age­ment hear­ing in March a case re­view was con­ducted by the Crown Prose­cu­tion Ser­vice.

“It in­cluded a con­fer­ence with the of­fi­cer in the case, a lawyer from the CPS and my­self as coun­sel and a de­ci­sion was taken fol­low­ing that re­view to take the course which the Crown do to­day,” he said.

“Can I say that in tak­ing that course it is not, and should not be viewed in any way, as an ac­cep­tance of the sub­mis­sions made by the de­fen­dant in writ- ing. But the Crown, look­ing at the mat­ter in the round, have de­cided in these cir­cum­stances in this case that the ap­pro­pri­ate course is to of­fer no ev­i­dence.

“I in­vite you to en­ter a Sec­tion 17 not guilty ver­dict.”

Judge Jamie Ta­bor QC agreed and for­mally found Miss Scott not guilty.

He told Mr Greaves: “You have ob­vi­ously thought very care­fully about this with se­nior mem­bers of the CPS and I have no in­ten­tion of in­ter­fer­ing with that de­ci­sion.”

Nei­ther Ms Scott nor her lawyers were at court be­cause they had been warned in ad­vance that the prose­cu­tion would drop the charge.

Judge Jamie Ta­bor QC made a de­fence costs or­der and also granted Ms Scott her out of pocket ex­penses for at­tend­ing court hear­ings.

The High Court in­junc­tion Ms Scott had been ac­cused of breach­ing was taken out by the Na­tional Farm­ers Union in Au­gust last year.

Ms Scott reg­u­larly trav­elled from Coven­try to Glouces­ter­shire dur­ing the badger cull last year to protest against it.

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