A hunt saboteur who posted a picture on her own Facebook page has been given a formal police caution after she admitted to using a camera to take photographs during a live trial in Llandudno Magistrates Court, Wales.
(Alison Fox is the online name used by Alison Berenyi)
Alison Berenyi, who describes herself on Facebook as an “anarchist”, will now have a criminal record for overtly contravening the law around filming in court rooms.
The photograph which landed Berenyi in hot water, clearly shows the inside of the North Wales court room complete with staff and witnesses in clear view. Shortly after taking the picture, it was uploaded to social media site Facebook, complete with court commentary.
Doing so clearly contravenes Section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925, which states that it is “an offence to take pictures in court, and also to publish them.”
Also shown in the photo is the back of Jeremy Reed, a well-known former Master of the Flint and Denbigh hunt. The message attached to Berenyi’s Facebook post which accompanied the image imply it was taken to intimidate Mr. Reed. The post stated: “Jeremy Reed, before off you feck, please clear up your recent court conundrum”.
Reed confirms that Berenyi was sat behind him throughout the two-day trial in January 2019, during which he gave evidence as a witness. Berenyi is known locally for being an active participant in aggressive sab action by local group ‘Welsh Border Hunt Sabs’.
(Screen grab of the Facebook post and photo by Alison Berenyi)
The trial in question saw two of Berenyi’s fellow Sab pals in the dock charged with multiple offences.
The case was brought after an incident took place near Cefn. It was alleged saboteurs, in masks and balaclavas, had used electronic devices to try to distract the hounds from the trail.
Connor Heffey, 26, was accused of two common assaults and trespassing with aggressive and threatening behaviour, by using an electronic device to emit hound recordings “to disorientate and agitate the pack, with intent to obstruct or disrupt a lawful activity".
Dafydd Hughes, 40, was also charged with one common assault.
Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said: “This is clear example of yet another extremist thinking they are above the law. To take the photo inside the court room and then upload it to Facebook shows a complete contravention of the law and was clearly designed to intimidate the hunt supporters who were present. It is only right that that the offender receives a criminal record for this appalling behaviour.”
(Alison Berenyi protesting outside the court (red circle) )