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Hunt monitor cleared in gyrocopter death case

A jury has cleared Bryan Griffiths, a hunt monitor and gyrocopter pilot, of the manslaughter of hunt supporter Trevor Morse.

Mr Morse died last March when he was struck by the rotor blades of the gyrocopter being piloted by Griffiths, which was being used to monitor the Warwickshire Hunt.

During the two-week trial, the jury were told of a stand-off at a local airfield when Mr Morse tried to stop Griffiths taking off to carry on monitoring from the air.

The pilot told police he believed he had been shot at several times while flying over the hunt earlier on the day in question.

Prior to Mr Morse?s death, the Civil Aviation Authority had received several complaints that horses were being frightened, with children hurled from saddles, and that the lambing season was being disrupted.

Mr Griffiths had to give a written undertaking to fly 1,000ft above any hunt.

It was also revealed last week that Griffiths? passenger in the gyrocopter was John Curtin, a convicted animal rights extremist.

The jury was not told, however, that Curtin had been jailed for two years for planning to dig up the remains of the 10th Duke of Beaufort.

Clare Rowson, regional director for the Countryside Alliance, last week told the Birmingham Post, ?If there is one outcome from this, it must be that a death like this is not repeated. It is not for animal rights activists to police the Hunting Act, especially not using dangerous equipment like a gyrocopter.

?This was never about enforcing the Act, this was about harassing people who hunt. We expected justice and I?m not entirely sure it was done.?

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