Category Archives: Hunts

Peterborough: George R Adams

#TheList huntsman George R Adams, born c. 1951, of 2 Ramshill Cottages, Stamford Road, Peterborough PE6 7EZ – used a pack of hounds to kill a fox

Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was convicted of breaching the  Hunting Act after hounds killed a fox.
Fitzwilliam huntsman George Adams was convicted of breaching the Hunting Act after hounds killed a fox.

Adams, a huntsman with the Fitzwilliam Hunt, was in charge of the pack of hounds when it killed a fox on January 1, 2016.

John Mease was cleared of all charges.

Falconer John Mease was found not guilty of the charge and also not guilty of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal relating to hunting of a fox in 2013

The court heard that the hunt started in Wansford, Cambridgeshire and that the fox was eventually killed near Elton by the pack of hounds.

Adams’ co-defendant John Mease, of 3 Kennels Cottages, Milton Park, Peterborough PE6 7AB, who was present at the hunt with a golden eagle, was found not guilty after a court heard he used the bird of prey to catch animals, rather than a pack of dogs.

Mease was further cleared of causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal despite ‘dispatching’ another fox by driving a KNIFE through its eye after it was caught by his raptor in 2013.

The court heard from saboteurs Ruth Nichols and Stephen Milton, who had tracked the hunt.

Video footage shown to the court taken by Mr Milton, which involved around 40 hounds – with the sound of a hunting horn clearly heard.

Mr Milton said he had seen the hunt tracking the fox, and had not heard any calls to ward the dogs off from the fox.

George Adams with the kill
George Adams with the kill.

Adams, who joined the Fitzwilliam Hunt in 1981 and became a huntsman in 1984, told the court he had not seen the fox before it was killed.

When asked if it was his intention to kill the fox with hounds, he said: ‘Absolutely not. We wanted to flush it out for the bird of prey.’

Mr Mease told the court there was no chance for him to release his golden eagle to catch the fox because the saboteurs were in the field, which would provide a risk to the bird.

He was asked why he never radioed Adams to call the hunt off.

He said: ‘A hunt is a fluid thing. It was changing minute by minute. It was the heat of the moment and it was the first time I had come across saboteurs in my 11 years.’

He told the court he was in charge of the bird but had no control over the pack of hounds, which was Adams’ responsibility.

Speaking after the trial, Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Lee Moon said: ‘To anyone who witnessed the events on the day in question it was abundantly clear that a wild mammal was hunted and killed illegally, in a most gruesome manner.

‘Although a fox had to suffer and die due to the blatant and remorseless actions of the defendants we are pleased that hunt saboteurs were able to bring at least one of them to justice.

‘We would like to thank Cambridgeshire police who conducted a robust and unbiased investigation.

‘The loopholes and exemptions in the current act have always been cynically exploited by hunts in order to operate much as they would have done prior to the ban.

‘The guilty verdict proves that hunting with a full pack of hounds is not the same as Falconry and the judge in summing up confirmed as much.

‘The outcome will of course have wider reaching implications for all those hunts around the country who claim to use this exemption.

‘We will continue to vigorously oppose those who gain enjoyment from the torture and killing of our wildlife and will use all the tools at our disposal to those ends.

‘We have the overwhelming support of the general public who wish to see an end to the barbaric minority pastime.’

Sentencing: fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £950 costs.

Daily Mail

Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Herts: Samuel Lyas and Valentine Baldock

#TheList Samuel Lyas, born 27/03/1990, and Valentine Baldock, born 26/05/1984, both of Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Herts, for leaving their injured dogs to suffer after forcing them to fight foxes and badgers

Photo shows Samuel Lyas and two badly injured dogs. One of the dogs  has a degloved jaw and the other has facial scarring.
Samuel Lyas and injured Max and Bronson. Max’s lower jaw had exposed flesh where the skin had been ripped off. His injury was untreated.

Lyas (pictured) and Baldock admitted causing unnecessary suffering to terriers, some of whom were left with the skin ripped from their lower jaws.

The RSPCA’s special operations unit began investigating Lyas, who is originally from Witham in Essex, after being made aware of allegations that he used his dogs to attack wild animals. A warrant was executed by Herts Constabulary’s rural operations team at his home in April 2015.

RSPCA officers found six terriers, including a red male called Max and a black longhair called Bronson who both needed treatment for their injuries. Max was suffering ‘de-gloving’ injuries – the dog had no skin on his lower jaw, leaving the flesh exposed after it had been ripped off.

A tethering post was found by RSPCA and police officers, which pictures on Lyas’ phone showed was used to tie up foxes for the dogs to practise on.

A homemade noose was also found.

A separate warrant the same day at Baldock’s address, also in Brent Pelham, found more dogs, including black terriers called Gravel and Todd, with head, facial and jaw injuries which had not received proper treatment.

A vet also found staples in the corner of Gravel’s mouth, some of which had become partially detached from the skin. These had been inserted by Baldock.

A series of text messages between Lyas and a friend revealed Bronson had been involved in a fight with a fox. One text said: “Had hold of him from start to finish not a noise from him just grunted with his mouth full.”

Prosecutor Lauren Bond told the court: “These people are not fit and proper to look after animals.

“They have shown a complete contempt for the safety of animals, not just the dogs but the foxes.

“These are not injuries that have occurred by accident, they have occurred through deliberate placing of a dog in that situation.”

Lyas and Baldock lived in neighbouring houses in Brent Pelham, which were provided by their employers, who have since sacked and evicted them. While the employer is not named in the linked article, it is known that both men worked for the Puckeridge Hunt, Lyas as a terrierman and Baldock as a kennel huntsman. It is alleged that the hunt paid their legal costs but then cut ties just before conviction following negative publicity.

Screenshot of the Puckeridge Hunt webstie shows Valentine Baldock listed as a kennel huntsman.
A screenshot of the Puckeridge Hunt website lists Valentine Baldock as a kennel huntsman.

The decision to seize a dog found in Lyas’ home drew an angry reaction from the public gallery, with his friends and family claiming she belonged to his partner.

One of his entourage shouted: “How much more do you want to take away?”

Lyas has a history of violence being part of a gang of thugs convicted for assault in 2010.

Sentencing: Lyas – 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years; £3,600 in costs; 280 hours’ unpaid work. Baldock – 225 hours’ community service; £3,025 in fines. Both banned from keeping animals for life.

Trident Media