Otis Ferry’s legal ordeal is finally over after he admitted a public order offence at Gloucester Crown Court sitting at Cirencester on Friday (22 May).

Judge Martin Picton sentenced the South Shropshire hunt joint-master to a year’s conditional discharge and a £350 fine with £100 costs after the 26-year-old admitted causing “fear, stress and upset” to “hunt monitor” Helen Ghalmi.

Mr Ferry’s pleas of not guilty to charges of robbery, affray and assault were also accepted by the judge.

Defence barrister George Cox QC told the court that two weeks before the incident Mr Ferry’s Jack Russell puppy “Tiny” had been taken by, Mr Ferry believed, anti-hunt protestors.

“The dog was subsequently recovered, clearly having been taken by people who wished to make a political point,” he added.

The incident with Ms Ghalmi took place when Mr Ferry was visiting the Heythrop on 21 November 2007.

Mr Ferry, of Eaton Mascott, saw a Subaru car belonging to hunt follower John Deutsch being held up by Ms Ghalmi and another “monitor” Susan Grima. Mr Deutsch was trying to drive an injured horse for veterinary attention.

Mr Ferry rode to help Mr Deutch and there was a tussle in which Ms Ghalmi received “slight bruising” to her upper arm as he tried to tug her car keys from her grasp.

Mr Cox added that Mr Ferry is “often the subject of attention from those people who disagree with hunting on principle”.

Mr Ferry spent four months in jail on remand after he was accused of “nobbling” a witness against him in this case. He was exonerated on 1 May.

Mr Deutsch, 55, of Chipping Campden, admitted causing affray and was also fined £350 with £100 costs.