Belvoir hunt pays £37,500 damages to man whose neck was broken by mob

Belvoir hunt pays £37,500 damages to saboteur whose neck was broken by mob of ‘four masked attackers’ while he monitored gathering

  • Darryl Cunnington had his neck broken by four attackers during the Belvoir hunt
  • The former police officer was working for the League Against Cruel Sports
  • He suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck after he was pushed off a ledge
  • He has been awarded £37,500 i n compensation. His colleague, who was also injured was handed £11,000  

A former policeman who had his neck broken by four masked attackers while he was monitoring the Belvoir hunt has been awarded a £37,500 compensation payout.

Darryl Cunnington, a League Against Cruel Sports investigator and his colleague Roger Swaine, were beaten up on a public footpath near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Mr Cunnington suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck after being pushed off a ledge, and had to wear a neck collar for seven weeks after the attack.

Senior hunt member George Grant, 55, and his son Thomas Grant, 24, of Belvoir, avoided jail for their role in the attack after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm.

Darryl Cunnington (pictured) who had his neck broken by four masked attackers while he was monitoring the Belvoir hunt has been awarded a £37,500 compensation payout

They launched the attack with four men in balaclavas, who have never been identified. Grant and his son also stole the pair’s video cameras in the incident in March 2016.

An out of court settlement has seen Mr Cunnington receive £37,500 in compensation, and Mr Swaine handed £11,000. 

The Belvoir Hunt said in a statement: ‘The Belvoir Hunt condemns violence of any sort and took all reasonable steps to avoid such confrontation.

‘It regrets that anyone was hurt and has agreed to settle this matter rather than waste more time and money.’

Mr Cunnington being treated by the emergency services. He suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck after the attack

Emergency services during the rescue, which took more than three hours due to the challenging terrain 

Andy Knott MBE, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, called on the Belvoir Hunt to name the four masked men who took part in the attack but were never brought to justice.

He said: ‘I want to commend Darryl and Roger for the courage and dignity they have shown throughout their ordeal and for the determination of their solicitor, Helen Clifford, to see that they are compensated.

‘That four other balaclava-wearing men also involved have been able to evade justice is extraordinary and I am calling on the Belvoir Hunt to name them.

‘Hunting in England and Wales was banned in 2005. There is no reason to seriously assault anyone peacefully monitoring activity if there was nothing to hide.


Senior hunt member George Grant, 55, and his son Thomas Grant, 24, of Belvoir, avoided jail for their role in the attack after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm, actual bodily harm.

The Belvoir Hunt meet at Play Close Park, Melton on New Year’s Day 2019

‘Retired police officers with a distinguished record of service such as Darryl, and others also amongst our professional investigators such as Roger, work tirelessly to ensure the law is upheld.

‘They deserve its full protection. This violent response to our investigators from the Belvoir Hunt shows the lack of regard these people have for the law, and only serves to make us more determined to see the Hunting Act strengthened to end hunting with hounds for good.’

Helen Clifford, representing the two men, said: ‘High Court proceedings were issued against the Belvoir Hunt on the grounds that they were vicariously liable for the assaults and acts of harassment committed by the Grants.

‘My clients’ compensation was paid by the hunt. Whilst liability was denied throughout, the payment of compensation by the hunt speaks for itself.

‘No-one should be injured at work. Those who break the law should be held to account.’

During the court case last year, Leicester Crown Court were told the victims were in  Tofts Lane in Stathern, near Melton Mowbray, watching for evidence of illegal activity.

The Grants approached them on quad bikes and summoned men in balaclavas who attacked them.

The father and son were each given 13 month jail sentences, suspended for two years. 

They were also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and to pay each pay £500 compensation to their victims. 

Source: Read Full Article