South Shropshire Hunt master fined £600 after failing to call dogs away from disturbed fox

A hunting master who failed to call off dogs when they "disturbed" a fox has been fined more than £600.

Daniel Cherriman
Daniel Cherriman

South Shropshire Hunt master Daniel Cherriman, aged 37, was in charge of a hunt on National Trust land in the Long Mynd area of Church Stretton when the dogs caught scent of an animal. The fox was not killed, according to Cherriman's legal representative.

Telford Magistrates Court heard that footage of Cherriman was taken by witnesses, showing him making noises to disturb foxes. He then did nothing as the hounds hunted.

As hunt master, Cherriman should have identified what was happening and taken measures to take the hounds off the scent. The court was told Cherriman was responsible for the hounds on that day, and he should have taken reasonable action.

Cherriman, of Eaton Mascott, Cross Houses, near Shrewsbury, pleaded guilty to hunting a wild mammal with dogs, contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

Stephen Belford, mitigating, said that Cherriman would likely "be subjected to adverse comments for weeks, months and probably years" from hunt saboteurs who would "rejoice" in his guilty plea.

"It's not a case where there was a kill," he said. "On this occasion a fox was disturbed."

The case had been due to go to trial in December, with Cherriman's "whipper-in" or assistant also due to appear in court. However, Cherriman told his legal representative he wanted to plead guilty at the beginning of October. The case against his co-defendant was discontinued.

"The guilty plea very much reflects his remorse of the commission of this offence," said Mr Belford.

He added that the South Shropshire Hunt group is one of around 300 in the country that carry out hunting activity which is within the law.

Cherriman is a self-employed father-of-three who rides as an amateur jockey in point to point races.

Magistrates fined Cherriman £607, as well as ordering him to pay £135 in court costs and a £61 victim surcharge.

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