BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Provocation is one of the nastier tactics deployed by antis. They use it to incur an illegal response from their target, then report that response to the police. The English police are fully up to speed with this shenanigans – these days they don’t even bother the target with the complaint. However, north of the border in Scotland the situation appears hugely different if Lee Peters’ situation is anything to go by.
Huntsman Lee Peters had joined the Ross harriers and instantly became a figure of hate for the antis. At these hunts, the extremists obsessed over this huntsman. They wrote about him, they hung out around Lee’s home to ask “how did the kids sleep last night Lee?”. Having done five years at a hunt targeted by the antis, Lee headed north of the border and into Scotland. With less antis and the opportunity to hunt as a pest control service, he swapped the English countryside for the Scottish borders.
Up to that point Lee had experienced a fair few scraps with provocateurs; likely more than most.
In 2004 at a hunt demo in Parliament Square the Metropolitan Police adopted the heavy-handed approach, dragging out those who they thought were the ringleaders. Lee was snatched under the presumption he was a ringleader and found himself in court on a charge of throwing a bottle at the police. In court, like most others, he was found not guilty. At the time he was supposed to have thrown the bottle, he was photographed holding onto a barrier.
With a rising profile, Lee was under constant threat with sabs hanging around his driveway hoping to intimidate him. So Lee installed a camera just in time, or so he thought – Lee returned home from hunting one day to find a dog lying dead on his driveway and the words ALF scratched into the side of his Land Rover. The vet post-mortem showed the dog died from a blunt trauma consistent to being run over and only the sabs were seen coming and going that day.
The sabs had not seen the camera Lee had installed and had been filmed pulling down their balaclavas to enter his property. He had clear facial recognition evidence. The footage was handed over to the police with the sabs’ names including one from a well-known badger group. Three weeks later Lee received a letter saying the police had viewed the footage and would not proceed as there was no evidence available showing the men caught pulling down their balaclavas and entering his property were the ones who had run over the dog or scratched the Land Rover.
Lee’s solicitor was furious and phoned the police. He asked, “If my client was seen walking down a high street and putting on a balaclava then 10 minutes later the bank was robbed would you at least take him in for questioning?” The police responded with “that’s different”.
On another occasion Lee was out hunting one day and was being followed by sixty plus sabs, who had come from all over the country. As he approached a bend with a bank to one side he recognised one particularly nasty sab. As he passed, the sab lunged at him and grabbed his leg in an attempt to pull him off his horse, causing the horse to skid sideways. Lee used his whip and cracked the sab over the head in self-defence and attempted to ride off, but he was blocked by a female Somalian sab using the car door as a barricade to prevent him passing. Strong words were exchanged before Lee made good his escape into the countryside.
Lee was then contacted by followers of the hunt. The county’s police force had descended on the area in search of him including a helicopter no less. It turns out allegations were made by the Somalian Sab that Lee had made racist comments and she was extremely offended.
Lee went to court on that issue and was found guilty. To cap things off, while trying to escape the media scrum outside the court Lee was hit by a car.
Below is an example of the delight expressed by an anti at the time. They think they have ruined someone’s life via their cowardly acts of provocation. That, to these extremists, is a score.
Lee of course appealed. The judge was shown footage of Lee’s horse skidding sideways and sparks flying off the road as the extremist lunged at him. Their story of racial harassment wasn’t adding up either and within 15 minutes the judge said Lee had won his appeal and could leave the court with an unblemished record.
So Lee left for Scotland, for what he hoped would be a quieter life.
He was soon to discover that this was just the start of his problems. Scottish politicians stand shoulder to shoulder with the League Against Cruel Sports and put immense pressure on the police for prosecutions over wildlife crime in response to unreasonable pressure applied by animal rights extremists. The League of course rely on donations by generating propaganda concerning illegal hunting.
One of Lee’s first tasks on arrival in Scotland was to apply for a firearms/shotgun licence. He didn’t need it at his previous hunt so had let it lapse. It was obvious the English police had no concerns over the Parliament Square incident because Lee had successfully renewed his licence up to 2010.
“The humane killing of sick or injured animals with a firearm is normally confined to those who may deal with such animals on a fairly regular basis. Examples would include veterinary surgeons, RSPCA Inspectors, hunt servants and occupiers of farms and smallholdings.”
However Lee needed his shotgun again at the Jedforest hunt to provide a service to the farmers – putting down old/injured stock for the hounds. The Firearms officer came out and checked his cabinet and security. The officer seemed satisfied. All was going well until Lee’s request was passed onto the same station that had officers go out with the League Against Cruel Sports on patrol.
A sergeant phoned him up and said, “sorry you can’t have your license, you threw a bottle at a policeman in Parliament square 18 years ago”. Lee reminded the sergeant he was found not guilty therefore it doesn’t have to be put down on the licence request. A few days later the sergeant phoned back saying you can’t have the licence as you never disclosed to us about being found guilty of racial harassment. Lee replied, “Of course I never, I appealed and was found not guilty”. The Sergeant then said, “Ok, but you can only have a rifle not the hand gun or shotgun”. Lee told the sergeant that was absolutely ridiculous and asked, “how can I hold say a horse on a lead rope and hold a rifle in the other and shoot the animal safely? I need the hand gun the most.” The sergeant phoned back again and said you’ve got multiple complaints from Antis against you. Lee replied, “That’s interesting, the police have considered them so important they have not mentioned one of them to me before, also sergeant if you had extremists on a daily basis hanging off your front gate asking how the kids slept last night, just occasionally wouldn’t you lose your rag and tell them to foxtrot Oscar, because let’s face it that’s what they complain about.” Again the sergeant rang off.
The situation then turned farcical. The sergeant rang back a few days later and told Lee he had failed to disclose he suffered from depression. Lee replied, “I have never suffered from depression, I spent £50.00 for my doctor to disclose my medical records to you and suffering from depression is not mentioned.”
Weeks later at nine in the evening Lee was out with the hunt supporters’ club and received a phone call from his son. He was informed the police had come around and were looking to arrest him for a fraudulent shotgun licence claim. He is later charged and his solicitor remarks:
“Someone is trying to set you up or just make your life a misery, there is no case to answer.”
Lee’s high hopes for liberty in Scotland had altered somewhat. The hatred towards field sports amongst Scotland’s political elite is systemic. This appears to lead to unwarranted pressure being put on the police. It was not just the Police – Lee now found himself hounded by Terry Hill of the LACS as they desperately tried to obtain footage that could be twisted in the press to show illegal hunting.
Lee went to court over his alleged false statement to obtain a shotgun licence. Only he never appeared in court, his solicitor moved for no case to answer beforehand with the prosecutor and this was agreed. A deliberate and contrived waste of his time and money – but that’s what the political elite wanted all along and as usual the charge remains on the Web but the no case to answer went unreported, until now.
This whole sorry saga shows how attempted smears designed to ruin people’s lives orchestrated by left wing extremists – although found groundless – can be used later by opponents. No smoke without fire, eh? Time the police forces in Scotland woke up to pack gaslighting like the English forces have done after years of cases of provocation by bad actors. Bad actors with very bleak futures indeed now that legislation has caught up with their crimes.