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Former H&H deputy news editor

Masked men attack hunt staff and supporters

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Hunts are being asked to report all incidents with antis and saboteurs following attacks by masked men in north Derbyshire and South Yorks — one of which is being treated as grievous bodily harm.

Badsworth and Bramham Moor supporter Charlie Warde-Aldam and High Peak huntsman Nigel Cox were seriously assaulted by suspected saboteurs in separate attacks.

The had to abandon a day’s hunting on
15 December after masked men attempted to follow them to the meet.

On the same day three vehicles had their tyres slashed at the Barlow kennels.

The picture (above, right) is a library picture and does not show the people involved in these assaults.

“The sabs have a different remit this season,” said Badsworth and Bramham Moor joint-master Vanessa Fleming.

“They seem to be a lot more violent and hugely confrontational.”

Nigel Cox, 59, needed stitches to his head and knee after he was clubbed four times around the head with a Maglite torch and kicked while he was on the floor by two attackers at the hunt kennels on 8 December.

He told H&H: “I really worry when my wife goes to do the horses and half expect to find someone waiting every time I go outside.”

A vehicle involved in this attack was also seen when Mr Warde-Aldam was assaulted during a newcomers’ meet at his home, Frickley Park, near Doncaster, on 27 October.

Mr Warde-Aldam and his 12-year-old daughter Connie were surrounded by 10 masked people and he was repeatedly hit on the head with a heavy torch and punched.

He suffered a broken nose and cheekbone, three fractures to his skull and has lost 90% of hearing in his right ear.

“The attack was carried out in complete silence — it was no chance encounter. They were waiting for us,” said Mr Warde-Aldam.

Eight people have been arrested and bailed in connection with the incident, which is being treated as GBH.

Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance said: “The police have powers to ask people to remove masks and we have asked them to use them at hunt meets.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (17 January 2013)