Hunt kennels raided in hunt sabs' revenge attack

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The Independent Online

Masked hunt saboteurs raided a hunt kennels as a reaction to an incident on Friday in which a protestor was rushed to hospital after a collision with a vehicle.

Masked hunt saboteurs raided a hunt kennels as a reaction to an incident on Friday in which a protestor was rushed to hospital after a collision with a vehicle.

Protesters say Steve Christmas was deliberately run over, and that they were attacked with pick-axe handles when they went to the Surrey and Burstow Fox Hound Kennels at East Grinstead, Surrey, last night for a peaceful demonstration.

But the manager of the kennels claimed about 30 balaclava-clad protesters went on the rampage, terrifying staff and throwing bricks and stones.

One police officer needed hospital treatment after being sprayed with CS gas.

Manager Mark Bycroft, 29, whose pregnant wife and 15-month-old baby were in one of three houses that were attacked, said the protesters were "anarchists" who had no respect for "women, children, property or animals".

He said the protesters "overpowered" two police officers who were on the look-out for them, shouted vile abuse and threw rocks and bricks indiscriminately, smashing 17 windows.

Surrey Police, who had been alerted to the premises when the group began to meet up at East Grinstead railway station, failed to make any arrests but have begun a full investigation into last night's incident.

Hunt Saboteurs Association spokesperson Dawn Preston said their members had been attacked at the premises after going for a peaceful demonstration.

She said the demonstration was sparked by a violent incident on Friday morning when a hunt saboteur had been "deliberately run-over" by a hunt member as they met in Horsted Keynes, near Crawley, West Sussex.

Steve Christmas, in his 30s and from the Haywards Heath area, sustained serious crush injuries after being involved in a collision with a vehicle.

He was currently being treated for a broken pelvis and broken ribs at the intensive care unit of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

Sussex Police are investigating the incident.

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