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Hunt saboteur found guilty after video shows her assaulting pensioner

A hunt saboteur has been found guilty of assault by beating of an 81-year-old man after a trial at Weymouth Magistrates Court.

Alexandra Dennis, the saboteur, was fined £959, for the violent incident which took place on a country lane near to the village of Holnest in Dorset on the 18th December last year.

The Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Hunt had been out trail hunting that day when they were set upon by a group of camouflage wearing hunt saboteurs.

A video taken of the shocking assault shows Dennis striking an elderly man in the head with a video camera lens, after lunging at him as he attempted to retrieve something from the ground just behind her.

📹A video shows a hunt saboteur, Alexandra Dennis, striking an 81-year-old man in the head with a video camera lens, after lunging at him.

She was found guilty of assault by beating at Weymouth Magistrates Court on Monday.

— Countryside Alliance Press Office (@CApressoffice) December 21, 2022

After being struck, the pensioner then falls to the ground, as shocked members of the public attempt to move Dennis safely away from the victim.

As he lays there, Dennis can further be heard shouting abuse. As the victim is carefully helped up, Dennis continues to shout at the man, who disorientated and visibly shaken, says " you hit me".

A spokesperson for the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale Hunt, speaking on behalf of the victim who was understandably shaken, said they were "relieved that justice had been done" following the guilty verdict on 19th December 2022.

They said: "This shocking incident highlights the horrific abuse members of our community suffer at the hands of hunt saboteurs. While he has recovered physically, the elderly victim understandably remains emotionally scarred by the violent actions of Alexandra Dennis.

"For many rural people, particularly the more elderly, following hounds while trail hunting remains an important social activity and can be one of limited avenues of interaction in more isolated areas of the countryside.

"Sadly, there are a small number of people who don't understand this and go out of their way to intimidate and attack innocent people. We would like to thank the police and the CPS for their professionalism in helping to bring Dennis to justice".

The Countryside Alliance, a rural campaigning organisation, has said the incident further highlights the importance of police taking threats by hunt saboteur groups seriously.

Its spokeswoman, Polly Portwin, who run the organisation's Campaign for Hunting, said: "While small in numbers, hunt saboteurs are routinely aggressive and often violent towards many within the rural community as has been shown here in Dorset.

"It cannot be right that these bullies are able to carry out their campaigns of terrorising law abiding rural people. We urge police across the countryside to take their activity incredibly seriously, both for the safety of the hunting community but also the wider public."

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