Stowmarket: Men fined £150 each for fox hunting with dogs


Two men have been fined £150 after being found guilty of fox hunting with dogs.

Nicholas Harris, 44, of Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket and Anthony Laflin, 50, of Barretts Lane, Needham Market, appeared before West Suffolk Magistrates’ court charged under the 2004 Hunting Act.

On October 23 last year the men had gone to Green Meadow’s, in Stowmarket, with dogs, a high-powered lamp, a spade and a knife.

Harris said he had driven the 10minute walk from his home to walk his five dogs at about 3.45pm.

During the walk he claimed to have lost one of the dogs – a seven-year-old Jack Russell – and carried out a three-hour search of the area before returning home and calling his friend Laflin for help.

Harris said he returned with one of the dogs and a spade to continue the search. Laflin said he arrived later with the lamp.

Both men denied the charge but Laflin pleaded guilty to possessing the lock knife.

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At about 7.15pm police noticed the men’s cars parked at the entrance of Meadow’s Green and investigated.

They found a dead bird and bloodied garden shears in Harris’s car

Further police officers were called as well as the dog unit. Police then searched the meadow but could not find Harris or Laflin despite calling out.

Police then left the meadow but kept watch to see if the two men would appear.

Just after 8pm both Laflin and Harris entered their cars and drove off. Police quickly surrounded the vehicles and found a dead fox in Harris’s car.

Harris claimed he found the fox together with his missing dog which had got stuck hunting the animal in a rabbit hole.

Harris and Laflin were both fined £150, told to pay £300 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge each. Laflin was fined a further £150 for possession of the knife.