Warwickshire hunt supporter cautioned by police after snatching protester's car keys and throwing them into a field near Napton
A Warwickshire Hunt supporter has been given a police caution over an incident in which keys were snatched from a saboteur last autumn.
Warwickshire Police confirmed that they had cautioned the 45-year-old man under section 4 of the Public Order Act.
The incident happened last October 10 when the hunt met at Napton.
In a Warwickshire World report into the incident it was claimed the saboteur’s car keys were thrown into a field. The hunt claimed the anti-hunt campaigners were the ones acting illegally.
A huntsman was caught on camera snatching car keys off protesters near Napton and throwing them into a field during a heated, foul-mouthed clash.
At the time members of the West Midlands Hunt Saboteurs (WMHS) alleged that the Warwickshire Hunt slashed their car tyre with an old fashioned weapon. The hunt categorically denied it was involved in this.
On the same occasion the saboteurs said they had been filming the meet.
“As soon as we drove of ... we heard a noise coming from one of our tyres," they said.
"After inspecting it there appeared to be a metal spike embedded into the tyre. We later realised this was a caltrop. You don’t accidentally drive over caltrops. Caltrops are a medieval weapon originally designed to be used against horses but nowadays used to puncture tyres.
"After getting our tyre sorted we returned to the hunt only for one of their regular riders to open the door to our vehicle and steal the keys."
The moment is caught on camera as riders swear at the protesters. Due to the Warwickshire Hunt's foul language, we cannot publish the video on this site.
When the protester asks for her keys back, the huntsman says 'here are your ******* keys' before tossing them over a hedge and into a field.
"This aggressive behaviour is a clear escalation by the Warwickshire Hunt to try to intimidate us and stop us from exposing what they are doing," said WMHS.
This week the WMHS said the hunt supporter had accepted the caution for causing fear alarm and distress.
A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “I can confirm the following: A 45-year-old man from Shipston was given a caution for an offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act. It follows an incident in Lower Shuckburgh on October 10, 2022.”
Sam Butler, master of the Warwickshire Hunt said: “This was a matter for the police and the individual. We were not asked to get involved.”
The hunt’s official response at the time said: “We can categorically state that the alleged incident regarding tyre damage has nothing to do with the hunt. To damage a vehicle in such a way would be incredibly dangerous and pose a real risk to other road users, we hope that the cause of any such damage will be found, and if intentional the perpetrators will be prosecuted accordingly.”
They did not address the car key incident but did claim that the anti-hunting campaigners were the ones acting illegally, with two members reportedly being arrested for interfering in a legal badger cull.