Hunt saboteur caught with knife on Northants farm track

A hunt saboteur was caught by police with a knife as he tried to disrupt a Northamptonshire hunt.

Alexander Rushant, 25, was arrested on March 25 on a farm track near Drayton Road in Lowick.

Wellingborough Magistrates Court heard how police attended after a number of saboteurs were spotted wearing face coverings.

Police asked the group to take off their coverings, which they did, but Rushant went back to area.

When searched by police they found a lock knife in his possession, prosecutor Julie Costello told the court.

Rushant pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and, mitigating, Andy Hopkinson said he did not even realise it was illegal to have the knife as it was one he used at work.

Mr Hopkinson said: “This was an innocent act and an unwitting act.

“There is no suggestion that he had used any sort of violence.

“He did not think the item was illegal because he was given it by his work.”

Mr Hopkinson added that his client had the knife as they often came across animals trapped in snares.

Chairman of the bench Dr Robin Pugsley gave Rushant, of Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire, a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.