THE joint master of the Middleton Hunt appeared in court yesterday accused of a fox-hunting offence.

Tom Holt, 28, is charged with hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Knapton Lodge, West Knapton, Malton, last February 19.

Holt denied the allegation under the 2004 Hunting Act and the case was adjourned for a case management hearing on September 25.

It was alleged that he had hunted a wild mammal with a dog.

Holt, joint master of the Middleton Hunt, based near Malton, appeared before Scarborough Magistrates dressed in a suit and tie. He spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter his not guilty plea during the five-minute hearing.

There was no objection to bail and Holt, of Aldro Farm, Leavening, Malton, was excused attendance from the next court hearing at the request of Stephen Welford, defending.

Holt was granted unconditional bail.