TWO huntsmen from the Borders accused of breaching Scotland's fox hunting legislation will discover their fates on Thursday.

Father and son John Clive Richardson, who is 67, and his 24-year-old Johnny Riley both deny deliberately hunting a fox with dogs on farm land near Jedburgh.

Both are leading members of the Jedforest Hunt - no huntsman has been convicted of breaching the Protection of Wild Mammals(Scotland) Act since its introduction in 2002.

Following a lengthy trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, the Crown and defence lawyers concluded their closing submissions this afternoon.

Depute fiscal Fiona Caldwell insisted the pair who are based at Abbotrule near Bonchester Bridge, broke the law at Townfoothill near Jedburgh on February 16 last year.

She pointed to the video evidence of two investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports who secretly filmed two incidents where a fox was pursued by 34 hounds.

Ms Caldwell said:"The Crown witnesses have been clear that this was a deliberate course of acts culminating with those responsible for the Hunt, hunting the fox with dogs."

She argued the hounds were released to pursue the fox where the animal could easily have been dispatched humanely when it was trapped in a hole by a pistol from close range.

The fiscal said it had not been disputed that the fox was killed that day - despite the final act not being captured on video - although the defence contested that it was shot by a waiting gunman waiting in a gulley which the law permits.

But Ms Caldwell said no shots were heard on the video at the time of the two key incidents.

She pointed out a carcass of a fox travelling that same direction was found later and there was no evidence of it being shot.

But defence lawyer David McKie said the pair were working within the terms of the law by using the hounds to flush out the fox from cover to waiting guns.

He described the defence witnessed as "open and transparent."

Mr McKie urged Sheriff Peter Paterson to find the witnesses credible and reliable and to return a not guilty verdict on Thursday.