Police merely caution hunt thug for violent behaviour

A grandmother was verbally abused and forced to jump clear of the wheels of a 4×4 vehicle driven by a man following an Oxfordshire hunt.

Judy Gilbert, 60, a member of the League Against Cruel Sports, was monitoring the activities of the Vale of White Horse Hunt, at Filkins, in west Oxfordshire, in December, when a man following the hunt reversed his four-wheel drive vehicle towards her and shouted abuse.

Mrs Gilbert said she escaped serious injury only by leaping on to a roadside verge. She was on the phone to the police at the time, reporting the same driver for damaging her car just an hour earlier.

About £500 worth of damage was caused to Mrs Gilbert’s car after the man allegedly opened her door and slammed it into his own vehicle. It is also claimed he subjected Mrs Gilbert to a torrent of verbal abuse.

Last week, the man – who has not been named – was arrested and cautioned by police after admitting causing criminal damage.

Video footage given to police shows a man reaching through his car window and opening Mrs Gilbert’s car door, while yelling a string of expletives.

She said: “I was very shaken and my car sustained hundreds of pounds-worth of damage. It’s outrageous. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and leaped out of the way on to a grass verge. If I hadn’t spotted him I could have been killed, or injured at the very least.”

Thames Valley Police spokesman Victoria Bartlett confirmed that a 68 year-man had been cautioned for criminal damage in connection with the incident.

She said: “He admitted the offence, apologised for his actions, and was issued with an adult caution which will stay on his record for five years.”

Mark Hill, a retired master of the hunt, said he had not been aware of the incident but said: “We would absolutely not at all condone this kind of behaviour.”

He added: “We have only had monitors out once this season and we thought they were very aggressive.

“If somebody backfired on them I would not condone it, and it certainly wasn’t one of our members, but they probably had it coming to them.”

Article taken from the Oxford Mail

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