Police force ignored advice of CPS

Despite the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit including on their website (http://www.netcu.org.uk) an article titled “Huntsman convicted of breaking hunting with dogs ban”, the truth of the matter is that if left in the hands of the police, there would not have been a successful prosecution against Tony Wright for flagrantly disregarding the ban on hunting with dogs.

POLICE FORCE IGNORED ADVICE OF CPS
Saturday 5th August 2006
Western Morning News

Avon and Somerset Police ignored the advice of legal experts when Tony Wright’s breach of the hunting ban first came to light, it has emerged.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had advised Avon and Somerset Police of specific evidence it would require if a prosecution was to go ahead.

The CPS also told the force that evidence needed to be submitted within six months.

However, the force didn’t come back to the legal body and it was left to the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) to press ahead with its own private prosecution.

A CPS spokesman said: “‘Avon and Somerset Police approached the Crown Prosecution Service in July 2005 to ask for advice on how to progress a case of alleged hunting with hounds.

“We advised them on the further evidence we would need before we could consider whether or not to bring charges.

“We also advised them that we would require the evidence by October 29, 2005, because offences under the Hunting Act are summary offences which cannot be charged more than six months after the offence is alleged to have taken place.

“In these circumstances it is the police’s decision whether they progress the case or not. We did not receive any further evidence from the police.”

Avon and Somerset Police spokesman Liz Kirkham said: “The constabulary took the decision that the evidence presented by LACS did not constitute a breach of the hunting act. So a formal case was not compiled for the CPS. We will review the situation for future cases.”

League Against Cruel Sports spokesman Barry Hugill said: “We were surprised that the police did not decide to press ahead with this prosecution after seeing our evidence. But we are delighted that they have decided to look at this ruling as a benchmark.”

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