Huntsman fined for attacking anti-hunt protester with a riding crop near Harborough

He pulled her up by the back of her collar before striking her on the head with his riding crop, leaving her with lacerations to her head and bruising to her neck

By News Reporter
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 3:41 pm
A huntsman who attacked an anti-hunt protester with a riding crop near Market Harborough has been fined.
A huntsman who attacked an anti-hunt protester with a riding crop near Market Harborough has been fined.

A huntsman who attacked an anti-hunt protester with a riding crop near Market Harborough has been fined.

Mark Marshall Ferguson, 49, of Skeffington, Leicestershire, was in a field in Clipston Road in Sibbertoft, as part of a hunting party on the morning of October 19, 2019.

An anti-hunting group were also in the field and there was an altercation between both groups resulting in Ferguson approaching one of the anti-hunting group, a woman in her 50s, from behind on his horse.

He pulled her up by the back of her collar before striking her on the head with his riding crop.

As a result of the incident, the woman suffered a laceration to her head and bruising to her neck. In the melee, she was also thrown backwards, causing her phone to smash.

An investigation into the incident was launched and Ferguson was charged with ABH and criminal damage.

He pleaded not guilty to both offences but at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on March 10, 2022, was convicted of both and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2,125.

Rural Crime Officer PC Chloe Gillies, said: “I am pleased that Mark Ferguson was found guilty of these offences at court as this type of behaviour is unacceptable.

“Ferguson’s actions here could have had far more serious consequences and for the victim’s sake, I am pleased that they didn’t.

“There is never an excuse to assault someone and Northamptonshire Police will always pursue criminal action against any offender.”