HUNT saboteurs posted a picture of a naked judge online, a court heard.
The allegation was made in the opening day of the trial of immigration judge Mark Davies who is accused of assaulting two hunt sabs at hunt meeting in the UK.
Lawyers for Mr Davies said masked hunt sabs had arrived at a private hunt looking “intimidating” and other animal rights activists had invaded Mrs Davies’ privacy by publishing the pictures online.
Mr Davies, who is also the chairman of the historic Barlow Hunt, denies attacking Austin Jordan and William Robinson during a New Year’s day hunt in Derbyshire. The judge’s lawyers complained in court that a hunt saboteur group had later published online a photo of him posing for a nude charity calendar in 2007.
The case came before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court and the court was told the clash unfolded during a trail hunt – the legal pursuit of a scented trial which does not involve chasing foxes which is now illegal in the UK.
Mr Davies is said to have grabbed one of the activists by the throat, before shoving him to the ground, then pushing another man into a bush.
Magistrates were told Mr Davies, 67, and his wife Joan Williams, who is a former South Yorkshire Police Superintendent, were observing the event when they were approached by a group of anti-hunt campaigners.
Prosecutor Ian Shaw told the court: “When they reach Mr Davies and his wife they are told they are trespassing and they should go away and the difference in accounts comes into play.
“Mr Davies says he was attacked by Mr Jordan and he acted in self-defence.
“Mr Jordan said he was grabbed first by the throat and pushed back and Mr Davies went to the floor. Then Mr Davies is seen to push Mr Robinson into a bush.”
Mr Jordan told the court he and five others attended because they feared the hunt would kill foxes.
Mr Jordan said that when he approached, Davies made a “beeline” for him and started grabbing the upper part of his jacket near his neck.
Mr Robinson told the court: “Davies came lunging towards Mr Jordan out of the blue. He was shouting at him as he grabbed him and he put his hand towards his neck and he was shouting and Mr Jordan shouted back.”
Mr Robinson said Davies was shouting “something about private land” as he got hold of Mr Jordan and before he was pushed away and fell to the ground.
Davies’ defence lawyer Stephen Welford told the court that Mr Jordan and Mr Robinson were from the Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs group and had been committing aggravated trespassing by being on private land without permission while interfering with a lawful activity.
He said the campaigners “looked intimidating”, were wearing masks, and that Mr Davies was left with a bloody nose after the incident.
Mr Davies’ lawyers claimed some animal rights campaigners had “invaded Davies’s privacy prior to the trial” by publishing the picture from a charity calendar online.
In 2007, Davies was persuaded to pose as Mr July for a nude calendar sold at £10 a time to raise cash for the Pennine Foxhounds, of which he was joint master.
The trial was adjourned to a later date.