Shropshire Star

Former Shropshire huntsman fined over 'dangerous' dog attack

A former Master of the Ludlow Hunt has been ordered to pay almost £2,000 after his "dangerous" terrier attacked a woman resulting in leg injuries.

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Rupert Inglesant

Captain Rupert Inglesant, 55, must also have his dog, Tigger, destroyed after it sank its teeth into the victim's thigh and later left two other walkers fearing they would be bitten.

The experienced huntsman pleaded guilty to a charge of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury on June 25.

But unconventionally, Inglesant was allowed to remain out of the dock - after the judge told him "you're not the sort of person we ordinarily have in court".

Isle of Wight Magistrates Court heard the first attack took place last summer when Tigger left a female dog walker with a "nasty" bite mark and puncture wound.

The injured dog walker

The dog had broken free from a pack of 30 hounds being exercised by the Isle of Wight Hunt - where Inglesant is currently joint Master - and repeatedly gnawed at the woman's thigh and her spaniel.

Inglesant paid the woman's vet bills as the wounded spaniel needed six stitches and had fluid drained from the wound.

Ms Ann Smout, prosecuting, said that following this attack, Tigger was muzzled and Inglesant made subject to a conditional caution to keep the dog under control in public.

But last month, a man walking a labrador was forced to use a stick to stop Tigger from biting him while it snarled and barked.

The injured dog

Six days later, another man arrived home to find Tigger on his driveway. He had to use a broom to guide the "growling" dog away as it snapped its teeth.

The man stated to police: "It was frightening. I thought I was going to get bitten. It was a very aggressive animal and in my opinion will attack again."

District Judge Anthony Callaway said the original conditional caution had not worked and the dog needed to be destroyed.


Mr Calloway said: "It's quite a nasty bite mark with puncture wounds and scratches. The photo speaks for itself."

Inglesant, a prominent hunting campaigner, has been working with dogs for the past 30 years, and was part of both the Ludlow Hunt in Shropshire, and the Tedworth Hunt which operates in Hampshire and Wiltshire. He was the sole master and huntsman of the renowned Belvoir Hunt between 2006 and 2010.

He was also a prominent figure in the 1997 documentary The Hunt, which caused controversy when the BBC screened it on Boxing Day that year.

Inglesant later moved to Australia, joining Oaklands Hunt Club in 2012, before returning to the UK and becoming master at Cotswold Hunt between 2017 and 2018.

Mr Barry Arnett, mitigating, said the huntsman had only moved to the island in May this year and that the family were due to leave within the next few months.

The injured dog walker

He said Inglesant had never had a problem with a dog before and that his client was adamant the woman's dog had bitten Tigger first, causing him to retaliate.

The court also heard that since the attacks Tigger did not even go into the garden without being on a lead, and he no longer exercises or mixes with the hounds.

Mr Arnett said: "The dog has effectively been put in solitary confinement."

Inglesant, of Gatcombe, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control on November 3 and 9. No injuries were caused in those incidents.

For the offences he was fined £1,550, ordered to pay £85 costs and a victims surcharge of £85.

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