Quantock huntsman cleared of illegally hunting deer
Richard Down, huntsman with the Quantock Staghounds, was found not guilty of hunting deer with dogs at Taunton Magistrates’ court. District judge David Taylor said that he was “entirely unsatisfied that Richard Down was intentionally hunting in breach of the Hunting Act 2004 on that day”.
The prosecution used video evidence prepared by the League Against Cruel Sports which it claimed showed Mr Down intentionally hunting a red stag. However, hunt member Elizabeth Gibbons told the court that she had laid a trail for the hounds to follow and in the witness box Mr Down said that the hounds were rioting and that he was not intentionally hunting deer.
Peter Glenser QC, defending Mr Down, said: “Mr Down was aware he had members of the public and members of anti-hunt campaign groups watching him that day. To behave in the way the prosecution is saying would have been reckless and ridiculous and to behave in such a flagrantly unlawful way does not make any sense at all.”
Earlier in the trial a second man, Martin Watts, was released after the judge ruled that there was no case to answer. The Game Fair is looking for nominations for its official charity for 2019. Successful concerns will need to be relevant to supporters and visitors to the Game Fair and lesser-known charities are particularly encouraged so that their voice is heard and vital funds are raised.
You can nominate your favourite charity at po.st/gamefaircharity
SHOOTING TIMES & COUNTRY MAGAZINE • 7
The Quantock Staghounds huntingin Somerset