Hunt saboteur given court reprieve

A woman who travelled from Ayrshire to Fife with the intention of disrupting a fox hunt ended up in court after losing her temper at one of the huntsmen.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:49 pm
Dundee Sheriff Court

Gwyneth Humphries travelled from her home to attempt to sabotage a hunt at Lochmoonzie Farm, near Cupar.

She was spotted by terrierman Adam Galpin who approached the car she was carrying other members in and began filming them.

Humphries lost the rag and jumped out - hurling abuse at Galpin before ripping the phone out of his hand.

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Charmaine Gilmartin, depute fiscal, told Dundee Sheriff Court: “There is a background at previous hunts of saboteurs turning up, some in camouflage gear or balaclavas, trying to cause disruption.

“The hunt was to start at 11am, and at 9.50am Mr Galpin was on his quad bike when he saw the accused’s vehicle parked within the roadway.

“He knew they were there to sabotage the fox hunt and he got out his mobile phone to film people who were within the vehicle, including the accused as driver. She was angry at that and exited the vehicle.”

She became aggressive and shouting that he didn’t have permission to film before lunging at him and grabbing the phone. Police were called and she was detained and taken to police headquarters in Dundee where she admitted her involvement.

Humphries (50), of Darvel, Ayrshire, pleaded guilty on summary complaint to a charge of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at Lochmoonzie Farm, Cupar, on November 21 last year.

James Bready, defence solicitor, said: “They, the saboteurs, see themselves as protestors at these hunts. There can be repercussions once people identify them.

“When the filming began she was thinking about the ramifications of that. He was also blocking the vehicle from being driven away. It was a momentary incident.”

Sheriff Pino di Emidio granted Humphries an absolute discharge – meaning no conviction will be held on her record and she will not be punished.

He told her: “Your actions were somewhat foolish. But having regard to the circumstances of the conduct I will deal with this by way of an absolute discharge.”