A West Sussex hunt saboteur says he may appeal after losing a courtroom bid to sue the police.

A county court judge at Chichester rejected Simon Wild's claims for malicious prosecution, unlawful imprisonment and assault.

The case is expected to cost the taxpayer about £20,000 because costs were awarded against Mr Wild, who was legally aided.

Mr Wild, who has won several out-of-court settlements against Sussex Police, says he is considering an appeal after the judge rejected the case without calling on a jury.

He said: "It was all dismissed on a legal technicality but there are issues which mean there is the possibility of an appeal."

The case hinged on incidents involving Mr Wild and various police officers dating back to 1995 and 1996.

It centred on meetings of the Cowdray, Leconfield and Chiddingfold hunt, which meets around Petworth and Midhurst.

A police spokesman said: "We are pleased that the court case upheld the actions of the officers and that arrests and the stopping of a vehicle were deemed to be lawful.

"The force is in the middle at the moment. Fox hunting is a lawful activity and people also have a right to demonstrate, and we have to try to accommodate both aspects."

Mr Wild, from Bognor, defended the possible legal bill, saying he was only given legal aid after two barristers assessed the strength of his case.

He said: "It was an important issue because I believe the police breached my constitutional rights on a number of occasions."

In the past Mr Wild has been paid about £2,000 in out-of-court settlements by Sussex Police and last December was awarded £75 after winning an action against Hampshire Police.