BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Last week’s article caused quite a stir. However, anti-hunt saboteurs either faking evidence or making false claims is nothing new. One particular case was even described in the first ever government hunting inquiry report of 1951 (The Scott Henderson Inquiry) when a master of fox hounds brought a libel case against a local clergyman:
“This gentleman wrote a letter to the local newspaper alleging that he had seen a live fox thrown to the hounds after it had been dug out, and that ‘four times one of the huntsmen pulled out the fox from the pack’, and although it was still alive and screaming he deliberately shook it teasingly at the hounds. When the case was heard the evidence showed that a fox had been marked to ground in a drain, and that a local farmer had asked for it to be killed. A terrier (which, it was subsequently found, succeeded in killing the fox) was put into the drain and when it emerged, it was tied to an adjacent gatepost while the fox’s dead body was dug out and given to the hounds in the usual way. While this was going on the terrier yelped continuously, and its cries were apparently interpreted by the defendant for screams from the fox.”
The Master of Hounds was awarded £1,500 in damages against the clergyman, which is more than the fine issued to the deceitful anti, David Graham, 72 years later. In today’s money that fine from the fifties is £53,000. In comparison, Graham’s punishment – a fine (he has already settled via some brass neck crowdfunding) and a suspended sentence – is woefully inadequate. On the other hand – what karma! – Graham’s life is ruined because no one is going to employ a perjurer. Even LACS, once a home for grave-diggers, is being more circumspect when appointing new staff members.
One letter the magazine received last week (printed below) was particularly revealing. Its writer prefers anonymity and we have granted that request. The contents of the letter show nothing is going to change in the UK unless the government intervenes and makes trespassing illegal – unless judges hand out life-time bans for those looking to disrupt trail hunts.
To whom it may concern:
“I read with great interest your article regarding the disgraced West Midlands Hunt Sab, David Graham.
He was found Guilty of perverting the course of justice, and not before time.
He, along with his side-kick Cathy Scott, have been editing footage against the Atherstone Hunt and its supporters for years, making false accusations of assaults resulting in a lot of innocent people receiving large fines and criminal records.
They have claimed Atherstone, and other surrounding hunts, are illegally fox hunting and actually killing foxes and that all of this has been caught on film. Yet, over the six years of filming, they have never handed over any footage until now, even though Leicestershire Police have practically pleaded with them to hand any footage over.
It is sickening how they both have a lifestyle paid for by their GoFundMe accounts, and yet innocent people cannot see through their fraudulent way of life.”
During his trial, David Graham embarrassed himself even more by saying he thinks he was kicked in the face and pinned to the floor but managed to turn over and get up? He says he was scared and knocked out but continued to trespass for another 5 hours? Apart from receiving 12 months jail, suspended for two years, plus 100 hours community work he also received a £1000 fine. As expected, he and Cathy Scott put the whole trial on their site claiming the Police committed perjury along with other ludicrous allegations, but the most sickening act was to put the fine up on ‘GoFraudMe’ for gullible people to donate in order to pay his fine. However, within days they replaced the wording saying they needed it to protect animals, (Fig1) no mention of the fine, they also took down their write-up accusing Leicestershire Police of editing the footage themselves. *A copy was later sent onto Country Squire and is in Bold below.
*During the course of the case it emerged that the evidence which the police claimed Graham had tampered with and which had been submitted to court was not the same footage Graham had originally handed in. This footage had been filmed off a computer screen playing footage on VLC media player. This could only have been done AFTER Graham had already handed in his copy. Whoever filmed this footage had forgotten to put the media player into full screen mode as both the media player and Windows XP can be seen in the background. We believe that this footage had been TAMPERED WITH BY LEICESTERSHIRE POLICE. We believe that after realising their mistake the footage was re-recorded in full-screen mode and then sent off to the second forensics company. The non-full-screen version was then accidentally submitted to the CPS. Leicestershire Police were allowed to resubmit to the court what they claimed was the “real” footage that had been “edited” by Graham.
West Mids Sabs are crushed, there are only the two of them, all other Sabs have dwindled away purely because of the lies, even the Sab that was with Graham when the alleged assault took place didn’t want to give a statement or attend court.
They still claim they have shut down Atherstone Hunt, but the day before his trial he was out trespassing and harassing Atherstone Hunt and even put his own video up filming the Hunt Chairman asking for details for the purpose of Track and Trace but Graham refused to comply.
It is time, once again, to remind this Government that its core support in the countryside wears thin in the face of these animal rights thugs and fraudsters who make a living via fear, bullying and harassment. The Conservative Government has an 80-seat majority. It’s time trespassing was made an illegal activity.
Meanwhile crowdfunding fines? Doesn’t that take away the burden of court-imposed financial penalties? Within the week Graham’s fine was paid – 100% crowdfunded by people, some of whom did not know what they were paying towards. Surely the Conservative Government can do something about that aspect of law perversion too? In this case there is clearly a con going on and information has been passed to the police. How do the public know they are paying off a fine when they press pay?