Farmer accused of punching hunt sab

Posted On 12 Nov 2020 at 1:50 pm


A farmer denied punching an animal rights activist who had disrupted a game shoot on his land in court this week.

Hunt sab Anthony Robinson, 32, is one of four people charged with halting the pheasant and partridge shoot at Waterhall Farm on 14 November last year.

This week he and his co-defendants Crispin Field, 25, Rebecca Hobbs, 31, and Melissa Page, 29, stood trial at Brighton Magistrates Court.

Robinson, of no fixed abode and former of Freshfield Street, is also accused of assaulting James Atwood, who organised the shoot.

On Tuesday, a court was shown footage of an altercation between David Gorringe, the tenant of Waterhall Farm, and Robinson, which happened in front of police officers and was filmed by their body worn cameras.

The footage showed Mr Gorringe approaching Robinson, who is wearing a mask. There is a scuffle, and Robinson ends up against the fence with another man holding his head back and Mr Gorringe right in front of him.

Robinson is heard to make noises which suggest he is in pain. Mr Gorringe is heard to say: “Let’s see who you are, I want to see who you are.”

Defending Robinson, Shina Animashaun asked Mr Gorringe if he had punched Robinson and pushed him to the fence, causing him to groan in pain.

Mr Gorringe acknowledged Robinson was groaning, saying “We saw a sort of theatrical performance from him, yes.”

He also said he remembered PC Paul Day telling him to be calm and another member of the shoot, Robert King, holding him back.

But he insisted he hadn’t assaulted Robinson. He said: “He just backed away from me, there is certainly no punch being thrown, is there?

“It was a controlled crouch down and a lot of noise to make an issue. No punch has been thrown there.”

He later added: “I was very angry about it. I would have liked to have seen underneath the balaclava.”

The alleged assault of James Atwood happened before the police arrived, shortly after the four defendants arrived at the shoot.

Mr Gorringe said he first knew something was amiss when he saw a 4×4 driving up the side of the valley. Then he saw someone walking down the valley, and James Atwood approaching him.

Mr Gorringe said: “I thought that’s it, we have been interrupted again and I made my way back.

“There was no doubt that once again we had been interrupted by the same people who had interrupted us the week before.”

Under cross examination, he admitted he had carried on shooting for about ten minutes after the defendants were first seen.

Robinson’s alleged assault on Mr Atwood, a push which the prosecution says was forceful enough that both men ended up on the ground, is said to have taken place shortly afterwards.

Robinson, Field, of no fixed address and formerly of Gladstone Terrace, Rebecca Hobbs, of no fixed address and formerly of Freshfield Street, and Melissa Page, of Shanklin Road, all deny the charges.

The trial, which started on Monday and was originally scheduled for two days, will now reconvene on December 7.

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