A PROTESTER who suffered a stab wound during disturbances at a hunt meeting has accused police of not doing enough to reduce violence.

Police received allegations from both hunt supporters and protesters following a series of ill-tempered clashes at the Southdown and Eridge hunt, near Crowborough which left one man hospitalised with a bleeding hand.

Simon Russell, 51, spoke to The Argus upon his release from hospital yesterday.

He said the alleged assault occurred following supporters and saboteurs “squaring off” to each other.

He went on: “One of them drew a knife and slashed at me. At first I just thought I’d been cut and then I realised there was a big flap of flesh hanging down and not long after that I fainted from lack of blood.”

The 51-year old IT manager from Eastbourne said he identified his alleged assailant to police, but was “disappointed” when they seemed to make no effort to track him down on the day to collect forensic evidence.

He accused hunt supporters of regularly carrying knives and catapults and added: “If the police did something at the time it would reduce the violence but they don’t, they turn a blind eye until someone gets hurt.”

A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm.

Saturday’s hunt was disrupted by a crowd of protestors and hunt saboteurs and police are investigating accusations of theft, criminal damage and several minor assaults.

Hunt saboteurs described the incident as an “unprovoked, sustained attack on sabs [hunt saboteurs].”

The Hunt Saboteurs Association press statement went on to say: “Two of the hunt supporters used knives in these attacks and two of the sabs have been treated for serious stab wounds to their hands.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “A suspect for the incident was quickly identified but had left the scene to attend hospital himself by the time officers arrived.

“He was contacted and arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent on Sunday.”

He was released on bail until December 21.

Police are also investigating the theft of a mobile phone from a woman who was filming an altercation between hunt monitors and supporters and subsequent criminal damage to her vehicle.

Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents or who has information about them is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101 quoting serial 431 of November 14.

The Southdown and Eridge Hunt’s website was offline on Monday and no representatives of the organisation could be reached for comment.