Leicester

Father and son admit attacking animal charity members

George and Thomas Grant
Image caption George Grant (left) and his son Thomas will be sentenced in June

A father and son have admitted attacking two animal welfare charity members monitoring the Belvoir Hunt.

George Grant, 57, and his son Thomas, 25, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm against Darryl Cunnington and actual bodily harm against Roger Swain at Leicester Crown Court.

Mr Cunnington said his neck was broken after being pushed down a 14ft drop and Mr Swain said they were "lucky not to have been killed".

Sentencing will be on 14 June.

The Grants, both of Briary Cottage, Belvoir, also pleaded guilty to theft of a video camera and damaging an SD card in the attack near Stathern, Leicestershire.

Image caption Mr Cunnington said he was unable to move and feared he was paralysed after the attack

Former policeman Mr Cunnington, from The League Against Cruel Sports, said he was attacked by the pair and four unidentified masked men while on a public bridleway about half a mile from the hunt.

He said: "I was pushed off a 14ft drop, which broke my neck, and Roger was punched about the face and they stole his camera."

Mr Cunnington said after falling he was unable to move and feared he was paralysed.

"The offenders showed no remorse and left us injured. The fact they refused to cooperate with the police shows no remorse or concern," he said.

Image caption Mr Cunnington was in a neck collar for four months after the attack

He said of his group's activities: "We are non-confrontational. We witness any offences and report them to the police.

"If they are operating within the law as they claim, then they have nothing to hide."

Image caption League Against Cruel Sports hunt monitor Roger Swain called the attack "a complete overreaction"

Mr Swain said: "It would be nice to see a custodial sentence, given the seriousness of the offences, and it was an unprovoked attack."

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