Three members of the Crawley and Horsham have been found guilty of Hunting Act offences.

Joint-master Neill Millard of Dragons Lane, Shipley, secretary Rachael Holdsworth, of Rock Road, Washington, and former huntsman – now master and huntsman of the Dart Vale Harriers – Andrew Phillis, of Halwell, Totnes, were found guilty on 14 May.

Charges against a fourth member of the hunt – joint-master Jamie Hawksfield, of Bines Road, Partridge Green – were dropped during the seven-day trial which started on 23 April.

The four originally faced 11 separate charges relating to four incidents that allegedly took place over three days in January and February 2011. All pleaded not guilty.

“We are surprised and disappointed by this verdict, particularly because we do not believe there was sufficient evidence to sustain any of these prosecutions,” said the Countryside Alliance’s Tim Bonner.

“We will continue to support the Crawley and Horsham defendants if they wish to appeal this verdict.”

Mr Millard was fined £1,000 plus £2,500 costs on one charge. Mrs Holdsworth was fined £1,000 – £500 each on two charges – plus £2,500 costs. Mr Phillis was found guilty of two charges and will be sentenced at a later date.