A Crown Court judge has described the wearing of balaclavas by hunt saboteurs as “the action of a coward” after a group of masked protesters trapped Fernie hunt supporter Gary Williams in his pick-up truck.

The protesters pursued Mr Williams along the road and began to smash windows and lights on the truck. The terrified hunt supporter locked himself in the vehicle; the protesters were caught after a helicopter chase.

At Leicester Crown Court, five protesters were each sentenced to 100hr community service by Judge Stephen Waine, who added: “Legitimate protest is the right of all of us, but causing fear and damage is not.”

Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (23 January 2003), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.