Otis Ferry has learned today that charges against him of perverting the course of justice could be dropped.

Otis, master and huntsman of the South Shropshire, spent four months remanded in custody charged with “nobbling” a witness during his trial for robbery and assault of a hunt monitor on 21 November 2007.

He attended Gloucester Crown Court on Monday, 9 March, to learn the prosecution planned to discontinue allegations against him.

The announcement by prosecutor Stephen Dent took Otis’s lawyers — and Judge Martin Picton — by surprise.

Judge Picton described the situation as “farcical and nonsensical”, saying he was “taken aback” after being persuaded to refuse Otis bail over Christmas. He has called for the lawyer in charge of the case to give him a full explanation.

During the course of last week, Gloucester police dropped “witness nobbling” charges against Countryside Alliance (CA) hunting officer Adrian Simpson and Ludlow joint-master Oliver Dale, and extended bail for Otis’s girlfriend, Francesca Nimmo.

Gloucester police said in a statement: “[We] have a duty to investigate such serious allegations and a full and thorough investigation has been conducted.”