Hare Coursing Trial Abandoned
A HARE COURSING trial was abandoned half-way through at Ely Magistrate s Court on Thursday amid concerns magistrates could prejudice the outcome. Two men from Hertfordshire stood accused of hare coursing with lurchers on a field at Stuntney, next to the
A HARE COURSING trial was abandoned half-way through at Ely Magistrate's Court on Thursday amid concerns magistrates could prejudice the outcome.
Two men from Hertfordshire stood accused of hare coursing with lurchers on a field at Stuntney, next to the A142 between Ely and Soham, in January this year.
When magistrates retired to consider a map of Stuntney farm, magistrate Maggie Hollings revealed she knew the landowner's wife.
"This trial will be started again where there is no connection whatsoever with the landowner," said Mrs Hollings. "It is essential that we are perceived to be 100 per cent fair."
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Prosecutor Matthew Bradbury confirmed that there could be a perceived bias in the eyes of the general public if the trial were to proceed, since Mrs Hollings knew the Morbey family, who own Cole Ambrose farms of which the Stuntney Farm is a part.
Peter Gilheaney, from Primrose Close, Cambridge, and Lawrence Connors, from Same in Hertfordshire, will now appear alongside John Connors, who is accused of aiding and abetting the two men, at Cambridge Magistrate's Court on July 7.
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Farm manager Trevor Brooks, who witnessed the event, will have to be recalled to the court at Trumpington, and give evidence all over again.