Hunt monitor terrorised in Somerset

Date : 18.11.06 Western Daily Press

Police were last night investigating claims that a Somerset woman has been targeted by pro-hunt supporters because she is keeping tabs on local hunts.

Anne Heritage’s car was damaged and allegedly had the brakes tampered with while it was parked on the Quantocks in what she and an anti-hunt organisation said was a deliberate attempt to intimidate her.

When she returned home with the damaged car, Ms Heritage said someone had got into her porch and “sprayed chemicals” on the walls.

Last night detectives were investigating and forensic officers had examined the car.

Ms Heritage, of Bridgwater, said she was relatively well known as an animal rights campaigner in the area, but had never had trouble like this until she began organising a group to monitor local hunts.

She said enquiries about the possibilities of monitoring hunts with video cameras, and even from the air aboard microlight aircrafts, could “easily have got back to the hunts”.

She said: “I was out walking my dog on the Quantocks last Friday and as I was walking back to my car, I heard the sound of smashing glass. I reached the car as two people in another vehicle were driving off.

“The window was smashed, the car had damage and I discovered later that the brake cables had been tampered with.

“Nothing was stolen from inside, but I realised that there was information in there that would lead someone to know who I am and where I lived.

“When I got back to the house, the hallway outside my front door had been sprayed with this smelly chemical – I don’t know what it was – but someone had obviously been there and done something.

“It has to be more than a coincidence that this has started happening just as I’ve started to set up a hunt-monitoring group.

“Some friends and I were getting together to see if we could monitor the hunts because I think they are carrying on doing what they were doing before the ban.”

The League Against Cruel Sports said: “To terrorise someone in this manner is beyond belief. We anticipate that the police will take quick and effective action to find out who’s responsible and stop this type of thing happening again.”

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed a number of alleged crimes had been reported to them by Ms Heritage.

“It will be investigated and those inquiries are ongoing,” he said.


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