Police investigate attack on hunt saboteur in Plumpton

Police are investigating reports of an attack on a hunt saboteur, who was apparently beaten with sticks by a gang of men on quad bikes.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association accused hunt supporters of the alleged attack at Plumpton, which left the victim with “severe injuries” to his hands.

He had been monitoring the Southdown and Eridge Hunt’s traditional Boxing Day meet from a parked Land Rover, the association said.

Police have arrested a 23-year-old local man.

The Hunt Saboteurs Association’s website stated: “The saboteur was on his own in a vehicle when a hunt supporter got in through an unlocked rear door. A group of seven men then attacked him with walking sticks and he was forced to curl up to protect himself. He suffered severe injuries to his hands which he had used to cover his head.”

The website alleged: “The attackers also stole an iPad, the vehicle keys and caused damage to the vehicle, including smashing the windscreen.”

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, slammed the “violent” supporters of hunting who “cannot control themselves and viciously attack those who peacefully oppose them”.

The joint-Secretary of the Southdown and Eridge Hunt, Anne Chatterton, said: “We often get blamed for things which are nothing to do with the Hunt.”

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “The man says he attacked by a number of men who had approached him on quad bikes. He said he was hit with sticks, suffering a cut to his hand, and had his iPad and ignition keys taken.”

The police spokesperson continued: “ Anyone with information is urged to contact police on 101 quoting serial 0395 26/12 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.” They confirmed that a man in his twenties had been arrested for criminal damage, assault and theft. He had been bailed until January 30.