A Hunting Act prosecution against George Milton, joint-master and huntsman of the Weston and Banwell Harriers, collapsed in Taunton Magistrates’ Court on Monday 8 April when the court ruled that he had ‘no case to answer’. Mr Milton had been accused of hunting a fox in February 2012. The prosecution relied on the evidence of an employee of the League Against Cruel Sports, Graham Floyd. However, after the prosecution case was complete Mr Milton’s lawyer, Jamie Foster, argued that there was no case to answer as Mr Floyd admitted discussing the evidence with colleagues before making a statement; had been a kilometre away at a time when he claimed to have identified Mr Milton; and saw no fox until 25 minutes after he claimed to have seen the defendant.
The magistrates agreed that no jury could reasonably convict on the evidence presented to the court and therefore found that Mr Milton had no case to answer.
The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) spends hundreds of thousands of pounds running such ‘operations’ every year, yet for all the allegations it makes there has not been a single successful Hunting Act prosecution as a result of its activity in the last two hunting seasons.