Three hunt protesters, two from East Northants Anti-Bloodsports, the other a student at Churchill College, Cambridge, were acquitted of aggravated trespass today at Leicester Magistrates Court. This highlights the ineffectiveness of the Criminal Justice Act, which was met with widespread condemnation from civil liberties organisations when it became law in November 1994.
The only two prosecution witnesses, out of a total of seven, who actually claimed to have seen the defendants commit this 'criminal' offence not only contradicted each other, but also contradicted the evidence given subsequently by the police. Needless to say, the case brought by Leicestershire CPS promptly collapsed.
We may regard this as yet another nail in the coffin of a piece of dying legislation, that has proved totally inneffective in its aim to wipe out anti-hunt protest. While there is hunting, there will be hunt saboteurs.