A hunt has agreed to nearly £50k in compensation after breaking a monitor’s neck

Paramedics attending to Darryl Cunnington
Support us and go ad-free

Followers of a hunt linked to Princess Diana attacked two anti-hunting monitors in 2016. The incident left one of the men with a broken neck. The court handed two men “farcically lenient” sentences, and now the hunt involved has settled out-of-court for nearly £50,000.

‘The compensation speaks for itself’

Two monitors for the League Against Cruel Sports (The League) launched High Court civil proceedings against the Belvoir Hunt in July. It came after a group of men attacked Darryl Cunnington and Roger Swaine while the pair were monitoring the hunt in March 2016.

Two men – father George Grant and son Thomas Grant – admitted to pushing Cunnington from a 14-foot drop, breaking his neck in three places. They also plead guilty to stealing Swaine’s camera. Four men wearing masks attacked the pair, although police are yet to identify them. Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Princess Diana’s sister, is a joint master of the Belvoir Hunt and was a character witness for the Grants in court.

However, it was reported on 14 August that the Belvoir Hunt is settling with the pair out of court. The BBC said that the hunt “has not admitted liability for the attack”. The hunt also said it was choosing to settle “rather than waste more time and money”. It agreed to pay Cunnington £37,500 and Swaine £11,000, and the payment means the hunt will avoid going to the High Court.

Helen Clifford, solicitor for Cunnington and Swaine, said:

High Court proceedings were issued against the Belvoir Hunt on the grounds that they were vicariously liable for the assaults and acts of harassment committed by the Grants…

My clients’ compensation was paid by the hunt. While liability was denied throughout, the payment of compensation by the hunt speaks for itself.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

As The Canary previously reported, Leicester Crown Court convicted the Grants of grievous bodily harm without intent, actual bodily harm, theft, and criminal damage. The judge gave them 13-month sentences suspended for two years, 200 hours of community service, and ordered them to pay £500 to each of the victims. The League told The Canary at the time:

Two men who broke a charity worker’s neck have received a suspended sentence. Many people will be questioning whether that’s an appropriate sentence. To say that we are disappointed would be an understatement.

There was further outrage across the anti-hunting community, with the Hunt Saboteurs Association describing the sentences as “farcically lenient”.

The Belvoir Hunt has also been in the news for other reasons. It moved its traditional Boxing Day meet away from the centre of Grantham in 2018 after a petition signed by nearly 20,000 people opposed the event. The local Labour Party also spoke out against the meet. And in March 2018, the BBC published footage by The League that showed gamekeeper Nigel Smith holding a fox captive. Footage also showed Smith using a net and bag to retrieve the fox on the same day that the Belvoir Hunt were meeting nearby.

Vile, horrendous, and disgusting

The Belvoir Hunt is linked to a history of violent, harmful, and vile behaviour. Breaking the neck of someone seeking to ensure it follows the law is horrendous. And it shows the lengths hunt supporters will go to protect their disgusting pastime.

Featured image via YouTube – Goddess Of Oddness

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us