The Countryside Alliance has welcomed the acquittal of the Mark Doggrell case after a three day trial at Taunton Crown Court. This afternoon (Wednesday, 21st September), the jury at Taunton Crown Court found Mr Doggrell not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.
Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner says:
“We are very pleased that Mr Doggrell has been found not guilty and that Miss Rawson, who was injured in this incident, has recovered. There are, however, some serious questions to be asked about how this case ever got to court. The Crown Prosecution Service initially decided, correctly, that there were not grounds for a prosecution, but its decision was challenged under the ‘Victims Right to Review’. The CPS sought the advice of an expert witness who cast serious doubt whether Mr Doggrell could ever be considered responsible for this accident. Faced with a noisy animal rights campaign, however, the CPS changed its mind and took the decision to prosecute a case in which it had little or no chance of securing a conviction. That decision to prosecute Mr Doggrell has cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds and him through a long, stressful and unnecessary process.
“It simply cannot be right that charging decisions are made on the basis of who can shout loudest. We will be seeking assurances from both the CPS and Ministers that in future all such decisions are made on the basis of the evidence, and are not influenced by vindictive campaigns.”