On the 26th May 1994, Chester Magistrates fined three members and supporters of the Cheshire Foxhounds Hunt £25 each after trespassing on property belonging to British Rail. Photographic evidence was supplied by members of the League Against Cruel Sports Cheshire Hunt monitors who photographed hunt members and hounds crossing the railway line at Waverton on 1st January 1994.
Mr Guy Mather (Whipper-in with the Cheshire Foxhounds), Mr Keith Watson (a terrierman with the Cheshire Forest Hunt) and Mr Mark Savage (a ‘hunt steward’ employed by Concept Security) pleaded guilty to the offence and were each fined £25 plus costs.
During Chester Chronicle’s reporting of the incident in January, investigating officer PC Gordon Roberts told the paper that: “We are absolutely furious about the stupidity of what they have done, putting passengers and themselves in danger. It is an extremely busy mainline and there are freight trains and light engines ploughing up and down there all day, in addition to the timetabled trains.”
Following the trespass incident referred to above, British Rail managers issued a memo to all Cheshire train drivers which warned them to slow down when in foxhunt territories in the county.
A spokesperson for the League Against Cruel Sports said, “There have been many recorded incidents of hunters trespassing on British Rail property, indeed hounds have been killed on rail lines as well as a huntsman. Up until now they have escaped prosecution and we hope this will be a warning to them not to ride roughshod over other peoples property. League Hunt Monitors will be stepping up their hunt monitoring activities during the coming season and we suggest the hunters keep looking over their shoulders, because they never know when we will pop up next to record the photograph their anti-social activities.”