An unusual case was heard before the Whitehaven Magistrates on Monday.
Two men were charged with conspiring to prevent a hound from winning a hound
trail at the recent Labour Demonstration Sports at Cleator Moor. The evidence
of the prosecution was met by evidence for the defence that was flatly
contradictory; and a witness who helped to police the course for the committee, gave
evidence that favoured the defence.
The magistrates thought that no jury would convict on such evidence,
and consequently dismissed the case. That there is frequent more or less
organized interference with the hound trails is notorious. Such conduct is highly
unsportsman like and reprehensible, but it is difficult to see how the law can
be invoked, with much prospect of success, to put a stop to it. Such roguery,
where it is evident, might possibly be dealt with by committees of management
excluding suspected persons, and so promoting honest sport. If the
prosecution has had no other good effect it may help to bring the public opinion to
bear in the matter and tend towards this end.