Case against badger cull activist dropped
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.