LACS Covert Filming Court Case Dropped
case against South Dorset terrierman Christopher Leadbetter has been dropped,
the day before it was due to go to trial.
involved covert surveillance carried out by the League Against Cruel Sports
and had already led to a review of the legitimacy of secret filming as court
of Dorchester was due to be tried today on a charge under the Badgers Act
at Bournemouth Magistrates Court.
the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told Mr Leadbeater's lawyers that it
no longer had sufficient evidence to justify the prosecution.
of the Countryside Alliance, said: "The prosecutions of Mr Leadbetter
have raised hugely important questions about the legal process.
completely innocent man has spent two years clearing his name at the cost
of over £250,000 to the taxpayer all because the police and CPS chose
to pursue prosecutions based on the spurious allegations and unauthorised
surveillance evidence of animal rights activists.
any good can come of this situation it is an acceptance that the police
and the CPS, not animal rights activists, should uphold, investigate and
prosecute the law.
role the League Against Cruel Sports played in these prosecutions meant
that a fair and proper trial process was impossible".
on its website a LACS spokesman said: "The League's role is to collect
evidence and pass this to the police, and the CPS have confirmed that it
is legal for us to do this. Whether or not to prosecute someone is the decision
of the CPS and in this case the CPS proceeded but later decided they had
case against Mr Leadbeater was dropped last month after the judge ruled
there was no case to answer.
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