Kimblewick Hunt president in court charged with cruelty to fox

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

The president of a hunt denied causing a fox unnecessary suffering today after an alleged New Year's Day hunting incident.

Mark Vincent is the President of the Kimblewick Hunt, which operates in Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Oxfordshire. The 53-year-old was also named as a local event coordinator in a hunt newsletter.

Vincent and Ian Parkinson, a farm owner aged 64 years, appeared before a District Judge at Oxford Magistrates' Court in relation to an incident of illegal fox hunting which allegedly took place near Moreton Field Farm, in Moreton, Thame, Oxon., on January 1.

They both denied causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when the charges were read to them.

The court papers showed that Vincent was charged with pulling out a captive fox by its tail from an underground artificial sett, which was being pushed towards him by Parkinson, who was charged with forcing the fox towards Vincent so he could release it, ready for the hounds.

Jim Astle, defending both men, told the court his clients were planning to order an independent expert report which would dispute “whether the necessary suffering would have been caused in the circumstances described.”

He added: “The Crown has thought it necessary and appropriate to instruct an expert to write a six-page report on why that would amount to necessary suffering. It is the view of those instructing me that that is not enough.”

District Judge Kamlesh Rana told the court the alleged events had been filmed but heard there were still issues surrounding identification.

Members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association had released footage claiming to show an incident on the same date where hunt terriermen had forced a fox out of an artificial earth using drain rods and then thrown the animal in front of hunt hounds.

Both defendants were interviewed by police on February 8 and were charged on June 26.

Parkinson, aged 64 years, of Lower Road, Haddenham, Bucks., and Vincent, aged 53 years, of Kimblewick, Aylesbury, both denied one count each of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

They were due to stand trial on October 30 at the same court.