A hunt supporter has been accused of giving two saboteurs serious head injuries on the final day of legal hunting with hounds.

Wayne Spencer, 39, of Oakhurst Lane, Billingshurst, was involved in chaotic and violent clashes as hunt saboteurs tried to wreck the final expedition of the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt before the ban on hunting with hounds, at Petworth Park on February 17, 2005.

Lewes Crown Court heard yesterday that Simon Clear and Carole Tibbits, who are connected to the Bognor-based West Sussex Wildlife Protection group (WSWP), suffered severe head injuries, alleged to have been caused by Spencer.

Spencer admitted kicking Mr Clear on the legs while he lay in a ditch towards the end of the hunt and admitted he wished he had "done a lot more to him than that".

Spencer was captured on video taken by saboteurs and ITN, telling Jane Wild, wife of WSWP secretary Simon Wild, he was going to shove a stick he was carrying "right up your crotch".

But he denies one charge of causing actual bodily harm and another of unlawful wounding and claims another man present at the hunt or a horse hoof inflicted the injuries.

The court heard the day's hunting started with saboteurs giving chase, blowing horns and trying to distract dogs before arriving in the private estate at Petworth Park.

There clashes between the two rival groups grew violent and video footage of Mr Spencer confronting the saboteurs was shown in court.

Spencer claimed saboteurs were provoking the huntsmen by spitting and swearing at them.

He said: "We went down to the bottom where the hounds were hunting at the lake.

"The first person to confront me was Simon Clear saying go on big man'. I got the impression he wanted me to do something to him.

"I said a few words to him and he pushed me and struck me with the mouthpiece of a hunting horn. It cut me, a small cut.

"I pushed him reasonably hard in the chest and he fell. He lashed out with his feet and I lashed out with mine. He was kicking me and I lashed out to protect myself and to retaliate. It landed on his legs.

"Whatever I've done, I've done in self-defence. I'd stake my life that I didn't hit him on the head. I might have kicked him but I didn't hit him."

Spencer moved to another part of the hunt where Carole Tibbits was attempting to distract a huntswoman riding a horse.

Prosecutor Nicholas Hall claims Mr Spencer headbutted, punched and kicked Mrs Tibbits, causing a broken nose and a deep cut above her eyebrow.

But Spencer said he simply went to the aid of the young woman and that a horse had caused the injury.

He said: "As I got there the lady riding the horse came beside us and barged between us and pretty much barged Carole Tibbitts down.

"After this I walked away and that was the last I saw."

A jury is due to deliver a verdict today.