A FOX hunt monitor who was punched in the face by a hunting supporter has criticised the police punishment given to the offender.

Hunt monitor Paula Cheyne was filming the activities of the Heythrop Hunt at Dean, near Chipping Norton, on March 5 when she was approached by a supporter of the hunt.

After a brief exchange, a punch was thrown at Mrs Cheyne for which the person received a caution from Chipping Norton Police.

Mrs Cheyne, a member of the Hunt Monitors Association, was disappointed that her attacker received a caution for the assault, believing the punishment to be too lenient.

She said: “I was extremely shocked by this assault, and I was also physically injured. We monitors suffer a great deal of intimidation and obstruction.

“People who lash out at lawabiding citizens should be punished appropriately.”

Penny Little, of the Hunt Monitors Association, said: ”This kind of violence is shocking.

It raises once again both the question of why the hunts keep trying to obstruct our cameras and why the prosecuting authorities refuse to deal with the disgraceful situation surrounding hunting since the ban came into effect. Hunt monitors are non-violent and deserve protection.”

Howard Woolliams, Heythrop Hunt Master, said: “It was pure provocation. We are constantly hounded by the hunt monitors.

We are acting within the law and they are always out there filming us trying to prove we are hunting illegally.

“They even film the children on the hunt and they are not meant to.”

Adam Fisher, Thames Valley Police spokesman, said: “We can confirm a 46-year-old woman from Cheltenham was given a caution after she punched another female hunt monitor in the face. The victim, a 47-year-old woman from Milton Keynes, suffered reddening

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