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Hunt master guilty of racial abuse

By CitizenNews  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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A HUNT master has been found guilty of hurling racist abuse at an anti-blood sports protester.

David Lee Peters, 33, hurled insults at saboteurs who gathered in 4x4 vehicles to voice their protests at a meet in Ross-on-Wye on January 7.

The married dad-of-one, who is the master of the Ross Harriers hunt, went on to abuse protester Hiba Hassan  as he rode past on horseback, Hereford Magistrates' Court was told. Peters called police to disperse the protesters who claimed they were monitoring for illegal hunting.

But he was arrested when the anti-hunting group told officers about the  racist slur.

Prosecutor Michael Taylor said to him during the trial: "You tried to take a look inside the Land Rover.

"You even went to look in the back and when you saw a black person you shouted out (a racial obscenity). Presumably loud enough to impress the people behind you."

Ms Hassan told the court she was on her first hunt protest and was left "upset".

She said: "Mr Peters began banging on the Land Rover and shouting at us."

She heard him say "you're going to get it" and say a racially insulting term.

"He was aggressive the whole way through," she said. "Everyone was in hearing distance. I felt very alienated and upset and shocked."

She told police an hour later and witness Robert Muncey told the court he saw the lead rider crouch down as he passed the Land Rover, looking in the cab window, then crouch by the back window and yell out a racial obscenity to the riders behind.

"It was said very loudly in a venomous manner," he said. "I couldn't believe what I had heard. I really thought there was going to be trouble."

Peters admitted shouting some threats towards the group as he passed them on horseback but denied using racist language.

He claimed he was verbally abused himself by the group.

"I was told that there were saboteurs present," he said. "The information I had was that they had baseball bats. I phoned the police and just told them the information I had. As soon as you're aware of saboteurs, it's my duty as a master to inform the police.

"We left the pub and went around the bend and there's some saboteurs to my left hand side just parked up really. I did not stop because I had the hounds around me. And I didn't say those words, I didn't hear those words."

When he went back up the lane he claimed he was grabbed by the leg and he reacted because he was backed in to a corner.

"Then I retraced my steps back up the lane. I got near enough to the top and one of the saboteurs made a grab for me and had me by the leg trying to get me off the horse."

Yesterday Peters was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment  and fined £700, ordered to pay £200 compensation, £2,000 prosecution costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.

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  • amy86  |  November 18 2012, 10:22AM

    Smurf and other pro hunters - can you please justify why you feel fox hunting is a "way of life"? Do you eat the fox? Will your family starve if you arrive home without the mauled carcass of the fox? Thought not therefore it is not a way of life, it is an element of history which you are intent on holding onto. Do you have any thoughts on whaling or bear baiting out of interest? What you do is just as bad. To some people, theft and drug dealing is a "way of life", however they are rightly reprimanded for this behaviour because, it is illegal. The fact they do not perhaps get the right sentencing is another argument, however some sort of justice is done. You and your hunting pals know you are breaking the law by hunting, and yet you laugh in the face of the law and carry on anyway because it is your "right" to do so. You cannot complain then about the illegal acts of others without sounding like a complete hypocrite. You argue that you can buy game in a shop. This is true, because as you mention it is there for purchase. I dont see hunters trying to make a livelihood out of their kills, no you just do it for "sport". The fact that you cannot see what youre doing is wrong it beyond me. It is illegal, it is barbaric, and it is dangerous (to wildlife and the people who stand in your way). If you cannot see a problem with this then you need to get down off your high horse (scuse the pun) and get a reality check. And before you ask, I live in the country, am not a townie, and yes I still believe what you are doing it wrong.

    |   9
  • Walker100  |  November 18 2012, 9:36AM

    it not for fun, it the way country life is run and has been for may years, but then the ignorant townies wouldn't have a clue. Despite the poor grammar I think I get your drift. Let's go back to the good old days when we used to send kids up chimneys, had the workhouse, no electricity or gas in homes, no sewers. Let's not have progress. Let's keep idiots on horseback with packs of dogs, brave that they are, chasing Reynard to exhaustion. The facts are that drag hunting gives a better days "hunting" for these hunts. The course can be set at a level for all participants and kept on land where landowners permit such access. If foxes are a problem in any area they can be shot. Everyone wins. Will the pro-hunters please explain exactly what the problem is with this.

    |   7
  • LuceilleP  |  November 17 2012, 8:57PM

    Eyeopener- I couldn't agree more! Smurf101- this is not a 'townies' verses countryside argument. I live in the countryside and am opposed to blood 'sports'. Hunt supporters should stop stero-typing us. Do not assume that everyone who lives in the countryside supports the torturing of foxes. Many farmers are sick of hunters trespassing on their land.

    |   9
  • smurf101  |  November 16 2012, 3:14PM

    fox hunting is legal, allowing the dog to kill is not.

    |   -9
  • steveshedhead  |  November 16 2012, 3:07PM

    Well done to the police and courts it is illegal to hunt foxes with dogs and it is illegal to racially abuse people. A number of people have failed to acknowldege this is the case, then again some respondents seem to think country lfe is all about killing our wildlife for fun and racial minorities are fair game to be abused. I for one to not subscribe to this view

    |   11
  • smurf101  |  November 16 2012, 2:53PM

    @eyeopener-best I dont take my dog shooting this weekend then-or this acceptable becasue you can buy game in a shop and not a fox. where exactly do you draw the line. Are you one of those who will not eat fruit unless it falls from the tree and wont eat otherwise because fruit have feelings? get over it! Its a way of life and its all part of survival.....our good lady queen and her family hunt so go rant at her about your distaste in the way in which her family have done this for decades.

    |   -6
  • JustTrolling  |  November 16 2012, 2:30PM

    Are there any details about the police investigations into the abuse that the saboteurs dished out? I can't seem to find any details on here.

    |   -1
  • eyeopener  |  November 16 2012, 2:24PM

    @smurf101 "village police....no need for them unless there are a bunch of morons trying to stop a hunt." "fox hunting is a legal organisation-and untill the law changes so be it!" Fox hunting is an activity and NOT an organisation. Fox hunting with hounds is NOT legal. Try telling the farmer whose cattle herd has to be culled because his neighbour moved his infected cattle illegally that the Police cannot support "Trading Standards"..... try telling the woman in a cottage that has been assaulted that the Police are not needed, and try telling the farmer who's John Deere Tractor and other heavy equipment has been stolen that the Police are not needed. You would be the FIRST on the telephone if your house was burgled and quick to moan about how long it took for the Police to attend if they did not have a police station near you.

    |   4
  • smurf101  |  November 16 2012, 1:40PM

    and just to add, the village I was brought up in-the only policeman we ever saw there was my father-who was voluntary so totally disagree with your point. village police....no need for them unless there are a bunch of morons trying to stop a hunt.

    |   -10
  • smurf101  |  November 16 2012, 1:36PM

    fox hunting is a legal organisation-and untill the law changes so be it! Hunting protesters are the ones that cause all the damage to land, blocking in driveways,and generally causing chaos. Yes times have moved on, but does that mean we can just go out and shoot the drug dealers to keep up with the times? Hmmmmm think not

    |   -5

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