A CONFRONTATION between hunt supporters and saboteurs left a Warrington man with a bill for £267 after appearing at Llandudno magistrates’ court.

Paul Anthony Appleby, aged 27, had initially pleaded not guilty to assaulting John Edward Lloyd Ellis, an official of the Denbigh and Flint Hunt, but changed his plea on the day of the trial on the basis that he had simply pushed Mr Lloyd Ellis once.

Prosecutor Sarah Marsh told the court that on November 18 Appleby, who was with a group of fellow protestors, climbed over a gate at Greenfield, Trefnant, and tried to make his way towards the hunt.

“The complainant was trying to get them to leave the field and told them it was private land, but video footage shows the defendant continuing to walk across,” she said.

Appleby then used both hands to shove Mr Lloyd Ellis, who fell to the ground but was not injured.

Simon Sargent, defending, said Mr Lloyd Ellis’s account of the incident was incorrect as he claimed he had been pushed three or four times, which the video showed not to be true.

He told the court that Appleby and four others were attempting to interfere with the hunt in a lawful manner when Mr Lloyd Ellis made a beeline for him and grabbed his clothing.

“Emotions were running high and Mr Appleby took the view he was unfairly treated by the complainant. It was an emotional and tense situation,” he said.

“In my view there was provocation and the impact on the individual was minimal,” he added.

Appleby, of White Throat Walk, Warrington, who had no previous convictions, was fined £37 and ordered to pay costs of £200 and a £30 surcharge. However, the Bench did not order that he pay compensation to Mr Lloyd Ellis because he did not suffer any injury.