Master and huntsman of the Ross Harriers, Lee Peters, has won an appeal against a conviction of racial abuse and threatening behaviour.

Mr Peters appeared at Worcester Crown Court last week (30-31 July).

“The evidence was very, very weak,” Adrian Peters of the Countryside Alliance told H&H.

“Lee consistently denied the offences and felt he was unjustifiably convicted. The appeal was scheduled for 5 days but only took 2.”

Mr Peters appeared before Hereford Magistrates Court in November 2012 and was found guilty of racially aggravated harassment and using threatening, abusive or insulting words and behaviour to hunt monitors Hiba Hussan and Robert Constable.

The incident was reported to have occurred on 7 January 2012 at a meet in Aston Crews, Ross-on-Wye.

He was fined £720, ordered to pay £2,000 court costs and £200 compensation.

I’d always pleaded not guilty,” said Mr Peters, who is in his fourth season with the Ross Harriers. “I’m so pleased it’s all over, it’s been 18months.”

The CA’s Tim Bonner added: “Thankfully, he has been vindicated. Those opposed to hunting will go to great lengths to undermine and discredit our hard-working community.”

This is the 2nd time Mr Peters has had charges dismissed in a hunting legal case. In 2005, when he was master and huntsman of the Camarthen, he appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court, charged under Section 4 of the Public Order Act. But it was dismissed due to was lack of  evidence.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (8 August 2013)