A third member of the Middleton Hunt appeared in court this afternoon/yesterday following an investigation into animal cruelty and fox hunting allegations.

Terrierman Lee Martin, 44, is accused of blocking up a badger sett in woodland during a hunt meeting at Scrayingham, near Malton.

Prosecutor Martin Hawes alleged Martin had ?interfered with the sett by obstructing access to it and restricting the entrance? on March 29.

Making his first appearance before Scarborough Magistrates, Martin, of Birdsall Malton, ?spoke only to confirm his name, address, and age.

He denied the offence under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail on conviction.

The case was adjourned for a two day trial on February 9 and 10.

The case is one of a number brought by the Crown Prosecution Service resulting from an investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports.?

Kennel huntsman Barry Andrews, 33, is accused of interfering with a badger sett in woods at Bossall, Malton, by restricting the entrance.

Tom Holt,? the joint master of the Middleton Hunt, has also appeared in court accused of a fox-hunting offence.

Stephen Welford, defending all three men, said the prosecutions resulted from the same investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports.

Andrews, of Kennels Cottages, Birdsall, Malton has, also denied the alleged offence on March 12 this year.

Holt, 28, of Leavening, Malton, denies hunting a wild mammal with dogs at Knapton Lodge, West Knapton, Malton, last February 1

The case against Andrews has been adjourned for a two day trial on February 23 and 24. Holt's case has been adjourned for a case management hearing by a District Judge on October 23.