Huntmaster 'spat blood in PC's face'
A HUNTMASTER spat blood in the face of a policeman after trouble flared at a hunt meeting, a court heard yesterday.Farmer Douglas Hill, 63, of West Hanningfield, Essex, also wiped his bloody hand on Pc Craig Bolton's fluorescent jacket, a magistrates' court hearing in Witham was told.
A HUNTMASTER spat blood in the face of a policeman after trouble flared at a hunt meeting, a court heard yesterday.
Farmer Douglas Hill, 63, of West Hanningfield, Essex, also wiped his bloody hand on Pc Craig Bolton's fluorescent jacket, a magistrates' court hearing in Witham was told.
Hill, who was joint master of the Essex and Farmers Union Hunt at the time of the incident, then hit two protesters with his whip, district judge Margaret Dodd heard.
He denies assault, causing criminal damage and harassment.
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Prosecutor Tim Thomas said Hill struck out after members of the hunt were met by hunt protesters and saboteurs at the meeting in Maldon in March 2005.
He said Hill suffered a bloody nose during a clash with a protester and was then approached by Pc Bolton.
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“Mr Hill leans forward and spits blood in Pc Bolton's face,” said Mr Thomas. “Mr Hill then proceeds to wipe his bloody hand on the fluorescent police jacket of Pc Bolton.”
Following the attack on the policeman Hill struck protester Sally Mitchell, 20, and protester Geoffrey Bradford, 20, with the whip he was carrying, said Mr Thomas.
Footage of the event was screened during the hearing. A red-coated huntsman was seen to look down from his horse and say to Ms Mitchell: “You have got equality lady...Just **** off.”
Shortly afterwards Ms Mitchell, who was treated in hospital, was heard screaming and could be seen holding her hand to her head.
The hunt was taking place a month after a ban on hunting came into force. Hunts continued to gather legally to drag-hunt.
The court heard that a hunt protest group from north London was in Maldon to monitor the meeting.
A protester was arrested on suspicion of assaulting Mr Hill during the meeting, the court was told.
The hearing continues today and is due to end next week.