Three days set aside for trial of Borders huntsmen accused of breaching fox-hunting laws near Morebattle

Jedburgh Sheriff Court.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Three days have been set aside for the trial of two Borders huntsmen accused of breaching fox-hunting legislation.

Buccleuch Hunt members Timothy Allen, 40, and Shaun Anderson, 28, are charged with deliberately hunting a fox with a pack of dogs.

That offence is alleged to have been committed on land surrounding Whitton Farm, near Morebattle, on December 20.

The pair, both of Eildon, near Melrose, pleaded not guilty at an intermediate trial diet held at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Their trial is due to get under way next month, starting on Monday, October 8.

It is understood that film evidence submitted by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports will be shown at the trial.

The case is the latest challenge to the 2002 Protection of Wild Mammals Act recently subject to a review by Lord Bonomy.

Father and son John Clive Richardson, 67, and Johnny Riley, 24, became, in June last year, the first members of a mounted hunt to be successfully prosecuted since the act was introduced north of the Border.

The Jed Forest Hunt members were filmed by investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports, and following eight days of evidence, sheriff Peter Paterson ruled that in two incidents Richardson and Riley were in breach of the act and found them guilty of deliberately hunting a fox with dogs.

Riley was fined £400 at Selkirk Sheriff Court and Richardson, described as having a lesser role, was fined £250.