Former Norfolk hunt master’s lewd suggestion to protester is shown in court

PUBLISHED: 17:34 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:34 09 October 2017

Charles Carter, 33, a former councillor in Breckland, Norfolk, arriving at York Magistrates Court. Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

Charles Carter, 33, a former councillor in Breckland, Norfolk, arriving at York Magistrates Court. Picture: Nigel Roddis/PA Wire

Mobile phone footage of a former Norfolk hunt master making an improper suggestion to a female protester has been shown to a court.

Charles Carter in his hunting garb. Picture: Linda HoggardCharles Carter in his hunting garb. Picture: Linda Hoggard

The footage featuring Charles Carter - who is Master of the Middleton Hunt in Yorkshire - was shown during a trial at York Magistrates’ Court of Carter, 34, and whipper-in of the hunt Colin Milburn, 59, who are both charged with hunting offences.

Carter was formerly master of the West Norfolk hunt and a Breckland councillor from 2011.

He was suspended and resigned after the video was made public in January of this year.

Linda Hoggard, who shot the footage, told a district judge how she lived about half an hour from where the Middleton Hunt was meeting on January 23 at Squirrel Hall, near Duggleby, North Yorkshire.

Mrs Hoggard filmed the hunt in some woodland and then described an encounter with Carter she also captured on her phone.

In the three-minute long footage, played to the district judge, Carter is dressed in full red hunting attire and is apparently filming the encounter himself on his phone. During the exchange, he makes a lewd suggestion to Mrs Hoggard.

Cross-examining Mrs Hoggard, Stephen Welford, defending, described his client’s comments as “distasteful”.

Mr Welford asked her repeatedly how much money she had made from selling video footage to media outlets and she told the court she had earned nothing.

Asked why she was in the area at the time, Mrs Hoggard told the court: “I was trying to save a fox’s life”.

Asked by district judge Adrian Lower whether she went out that day to sabotage the hunt or to take pictures of wildlife, she said: “A bit of both.”

Opening the case for the prosecution, Christopher Rowe told the district judge how Carter told police he had been speaking with Mrs Hoggard and made the comments caught on camera “in order to make light of the situation”.

Mr Rowe said that Carter told officers a trail had been laid for the hounds and he was not aware of the fox.

Carter, of Birdsall, North Yorkshire, and Milburn, of West Knapton, North Yorkshire, deny hunting a wild mammal with dogs. The trial continues.

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