A HEARING to decide whether the trial of five people charged with animal cruelty offences in relation to the South Hereford Hunt has been deferred.

The hearing for legal arguments to be made in relation to abuse of process was due to have been held at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday and Tuesday of this week but has now been put back to January 4.

Paul Oliver, aged 39, of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire; Hannah Rose, 29, of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire; Julie Elmore, 54, of Cwmyoy, Abergavenny; Nathan Parry, 38, of Cwmyoy, Abergavenny, and Paul Reece, 47, of Chepstow, all pleaded not guilty to all charges against them when they appeared at Birmingham magistrates’ court back in September.

Oliver, Rose, Elmore and Parry were charged with four counts of animal cruelty, while Reece was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, in May.

Arrests, first made two years ago, were linked to allegations of animal cruelty at the hunt’s Wormelow kennels.

A trial date has been set for January 14, if the hearing on January 4 rules the trial can take place.