Heythrop huntsman Julian Barnfield has pleaded not guilty to three charges of hunting a wild mammal with dogs contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

Mr Barnfield, of the Heythrop Kennels in Chipping Norton, did not appear at Cheltenham Magistrates Court for the hearing on 4 August, but entered the pleas through his solicitor.

The case was adjourned for a pre-trial review on 3 November at the same court.

A High Court judicial review into where the burden of proof lies in hunting cases — whether a hunt must prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was not hunting illegally or whether it is for the prosecution to prove the reverse — will have a bearing on Mr Barnfield’s and other cases involving hunts.