Criminal damage conviction for hunt sab who damaged car with children inside on fun ride

  • An anti-hunt activist who hit and damaged a car with young children inside on a countryside fun ride has been ordered to pay £200 to the victim.

    Tracey Cox, also known as Tracey Clayton, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to the Land Rover, and was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on 21 February.

    The court heard Cox was one of a number of protestors at the ride, organised by the Cottesmore hunt near Oakham on 25 April last year. The driver of the Land Rover had his two children, both under the age of four, in the car as Cox struck it, damaging the bonnet.

    “Activists from three groups, some of whom reportedly wore masks and balaclavas, had been present throughout the day’s proceedings,” a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said.

    “Members of the hunt witnessed some shouting abuse at participants, who had come from across the local area to take part in the event.”

    Cox was given a six-month conditional discharge by magistrates. As well as the £200 to the victim, she was ordered to pay a £22 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

    A spokesman for the Cottesmore said: “ We would like to extend our gratitude to Leicestershire Police for their professionalism throughout this ordeal. We are pleased with the outcome of this trial and believe justice has been delivered.”

    He added: “Fun rides are an opportunity to welcome families from across the community to enjoy a day out in our beautiful countryside. We look forward to continuing these important events and watching them continue to grow in popularity.”

    Polly Portwin, Director of the Countryside Alliance’s Campaign for Hunting said that although “animal rights extremist groups” such as those who targeted the fun ride are small in numbers, they can be “violent and abusive”.

    “Members of the public out enjoying a day in the countryside should never have to feel intimidated,” she said. “On this occasion, the perpetrator has been brought to justice and we thank the police for handling this matter professionally.”

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