Man punished over leaflet row

Former Woodplumpton and Catforth parish councillor Barry Hill
Former Woodplumpton and Catforth parish councillor Barry Hill
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A former parish councillor who sent out anti game shooting leaflets has appeared in court.

Barry Hill, 52, who was a member of Woodplumpton and Catforth Parish Council at the time, posted offensive leaflets through the doors of two neighbours involved in the private weekly shoots at a Woodplumpton farm, near Preston.

He was given a police fine but refused to pay and the matter was taken to Preston Magistrates’ Court.

Hill, of Woodplumpton Road in the village, was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £200 costs.

John Troughton, 63, who takes part in the shoots, said he received an animal rights leaflet in March, giving Hill’s contact details for anyone interested in setting up an anti-shooting campaign. The matter was referred to Preston Council and Hill was asked to write a letter of apology which he refused to do.

A few weeks later, Mr Troughton and gamekeeper Ian Dobson received another note saying: ‘Game shooting for pleasure takes place in Woodplumpton’ and personal abuse directed to the shooters. Again, it gave Hill’s name as a contact.

Mr Troughton said: “Myself and about five other people are involved in shooting, it’s just a little family shoot. I spoke to a number of people and nobody else had had the leaflet. We’ve lived in the village for a good number of years and I think we’re thought well of really.”

Parish council clerk Julie Buttle said councillors “expressed disappointment” that Hill had used his councillor title when issuing the leaflets.

Hill, who was found guilty of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour and stood down at the May election, said he did not regret sending the leaflets and said he had previously been harassed by people from the shoot.