Hunt rider's £2,100 court bill after being found guilty of attack on Northamptonshire saboteur with horse crop

Woman protestor suffered cut head and bruising during assault in field

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 4:03 pm

A 49-year-old man has been fined £1,000 for assault and criminal damage following a clash with a group of Northamptonshire hunt saboteurs in 2019.

Northampton magistrates heard Mark Marshall Ferguson grabbed a woman by the back of her collar before striking her on the head with his riding crop in a field near Clipston.

Ferguson, of Skeffington, Leicestershire, pleaded not guilty to both offences but was convicted on Thursday (March 10) and ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2,125 — including £400 compensation to the victim.

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Ferguson was found guilty of assault and criminal damage at Northampton Magistrates Court

Police confirmed the victim — who was in her 50s — suffered a cut head and bruising to her neck after Ferguson rode up behind her on his horse during an altercation between members of the Brixworth-based Pytchley Hunt and the group in October 2019.

She was also thrown backwards, causing her phone to smash.

Northamptonshire Police rural crime officer, PC Chloe Gillies, said: “I am pleased that Mark Ferguson was found guilty of these offences at court as this type of behaviour is unacceptable.

“Ferguson’s actions here could have had far more serious consequences and for the victim’s sake, I am pleased that they didn’t.

“There is never an excuse to assault someone and Northamptonshire Police will always pursue criminal action against any offender.”