Foxhounds kill a family cat and the hunt master tried to cover it up
NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: What I take from the story i.e. the overview, the big picture, is that this hunt master whose name is John Sampson, tried to hide the fact that his foxhounds had killed a family pet. That was his initial, instinctive behaviour which is telling, but it was videoed, as often is the case nowadays, and he was found out.
|Foxhounds kill a family cat and the hunt master tried to hide it. Screenshot from video captured at the time by a neighbour.|
John Sampson and his son Edward were on horseback exercising a pack of about 21 foxhounds in fields close to the estate of Trafalgar Fields, Madron, Penzance, UK. We are told by the Metro website that about six dogs broke free from the main pack. They entered a cul-de-sac on the estate where they chased and mauled to death a black tortoiseshell cat. The cat is described as black in the press but that is incorrect.
The owner of the cat was Carly Jose. Her neighbour, Charlie Knight, happened to be in the vicinity and was able to video the entire event. At the time, another neighbour, Peter Nicholls, spoke to Edward Sampson.
Nicholls was in bed watching TV when he heard the pack of dogs come by sounding "like a herd of elephants". He heard the cat meow and he jumped up and watched the events from a window. He then went outside and saw Edward Sampson with a whip in his hand.
He saw the cat dropped by one of the dogs. Edward Sampson scooped the body of the cat's body off the road with his whip and flicked it straight over the hedge into Nicholls's garden.
Nicholls told Edward Sampson that he had seen the event and I guess having been found out Edward Sampson said that he was sorry and that he would come back "in a minute".
Nicholls then told Carly Jose. Mr Knight confirmed that Edward Sampson had tried to hide the cat because he said:
"A man appeared who picked up the cat, looked around, which I perceived to be him looking for witnesses, then threw the black cat over the wooden fence into the back garden. I saw the man fleeing, so decided to follow him to get a clear shot of his face for the video. He said to me he was coming back once he had sorted out the hounds."
That, for me, is the worst part of this event. The foxhunters tried to hide their criminal behaviour. I can say that with certainty because John Samson was successfully prosecuted for having a dog dangerously out of control. The prosecutors were unable to successfully convict him for criminal damage which surprises me.
Sampson denied both charges of being the owner or person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control in a private or public place and of criminal damage. As mentioned he was acquitted of criminal damage were found guilty of the other charge.
Carly Joe provided an impact statement and said that the killing of her cat had left her feeling scared to leave her home and it had affected her family massively. She said that she was devastated and heartbroken and "I cannot imagine the suffering she has gone through".
She said "My children are not sleeping at all at night and they are so upset and terrified of it happening to another one of our pets".
Magistrates fined Sampson £480 and ordered him to pay £775 costs, £48 surcharge and £350 compensation to Ms Jose.
I'm left with one thought: the arrogant and callous attitude of this foxhound master. It's disdainful and disrespectful. They drove their dogs close to the estate. There must have been a foreseeable danger that the dogs would pick up the scent of a cat and with their strong hunting motivation attack the cat and kill her.