Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2010 9:49 PM
Subject: [Times] Gyrocopter pilot feared fox hunter Trevor Morse 'intent on
http://www.timesonl ine.co.uk/ tol/news/ uk/crime/ article7056745. ece
From Times Online
March 10, 2010
Gyrocopter pilot feared fox hunter Trevor Morse 'intent on harming him'
A pilot helping animal rights activists told a jury he was “extremely
frightened” when a fox hunt supporter hemmed in his gyrocopter just minutes
before his head was cleaved from top to bottom by its rotors.
Bryan Griffiths said he feared that Trevor Morse was intent on harming him after
being spotted flying over the Warwickshire Hunt to see if it was illegally
After a tense stand-off on a remote disused airfield, Mr Griffiths drove the
microlight forward but Mr Morse, 48, refused to move and was killed instantly
when hit by the 200mph rear propeller.
Giving evidence at Birmingham Crown Court, Mr Griffiths, 55, said he was aware
that some hunt supporters were “absolutely livid” that he and an animal rights
activist were monitoring the hunt and both been warned that people wanted to
“shoot down” the aircraft.
As Mr Morse’s partner, Caroline, listened from the public gallery, Mr Griffiths,
who runs a heating engineering company, said he had been worried that he would
be targeted by hunt supporters after discovering photographs of his gyrocopter
and where it was kept posted on pro-hunt websites.
“It certainly made me realise that if ever I was in a position that they had me
or my aircraft things were not going to be good,” he said.
He added that John Curtin, whom he flew to film hunts, had claimed he had been
attacked at his Coventry home by three men with baseball bats.
Mr Griffiths said he was “too chicken” to observe hunts from the ground after
hearing how some people, even female pensioners, had been attacked by hunt
On March 9 last year, the last day of the hunting season, Mr Griffiths said he
believed he was shot at four times as he flew 1,000ft above the huntsmen with
their horses and hounds.
“I saw a puff light grey smoke coming up from the ground. My first thought was
that it was a shotgun,” he said. “It made me feel nervous.”
When Mr Griffiths flew to Long Marston airfield, near Stratford-Upon- Avon, to
refuel he was quickly met by Mr Morse and his fellow hunt supporter, Julie
“My first reaction was that he has found me. He knows where I am and now
he’s telephoning for other people,” Mr Griffiths continued. "He was walking up
and down on his mobile phone. He was a big man. I felt very frightened.”
Mr Griffiths said he asked two model airplane enthusiasts at the airfield to
“stick around” because he feared Mr Morse, who was 6ft 2ins tall, was intent on
“I thought he was bringing other people to the airfield. I felt this man was
bringing other people to the airfield. I was extremely fearful. My anxiety at
that point was through the roof.
“My primary concern was to get myself and the aircraft out of there as quickly
Jurors have been shown a “brutal” 90 second video of Mr Morse’s final moments
before he was struck by the 200mph rear propellers.
Mr Griffiths, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, denies manslaughter. The trial