Shoot captain, Peter Worden, described the incident, which took place in Brindle, Lancashire, on 11 November 2006, to Shooting Times: The saboteurs trespassed across fields where there were no footpaths and lined up in front of the guns, shouting at us, waving their arms and taking photographs. Luckily we were on a duck drive, so none of the guns was on an isolated peg. ”
“Prior to the season opening, we had called a meeting to discuss what we would do in the event of protestors coming, as a neighbouring estate, Hoghton Tower, had been experiencing numerous problems with such attacks. On the day, the whistle was blown and the police called. All seven saboteurs were arrested and the shoot members gave statements to the police.
In order for the saboteurs to be prosecuted of disrupting a lawful activity under aggravated trespass legislation, the shoot itself had to be deemed legitimate.
The defence argued that because the shoot technically had five or more employees, paid or otherwise, it falls under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and the 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, and must have had a written health and safety policy and risk assessment in place at the time of the incident.
The rest of this article appears in 24 April issue of Shooting Times.