Two members of the Fitzwilliam Hunt have been standing trial at Peterborough Magistrates Court. They were each accused of one offence under the Hunting Act 2004 in connection with hunting activity on 1 January 2016.

The judge found falconer John Mease not guilty of illegal hunting, and also found Mease not guilty of an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The judge found huntsman George Adams guilty of illegal hunting.

The court case was held over two days with the judge delivering his verdict on Wednesday 4 April.

The Countryside Alliance’s Chief Executive Tim Bonner said: “We were very pleased to see John Mease cleared of all charges, but the verdict in George Adams’ case is completely bizarre. No-one could have done more to work within the law as George had been doing very successfully for 10 years before the incident that led to this case.

“We hope George will appeal and he will have our absolute backing. There is a history of Hunting Act convictions where the court has misapplied the law, and been misled over the practice of hunting, being overturned at appeal. It is likely that this case will go the same way.”