DEATH and rape threats have been sent to a would-be Wiltshire’s crime boss over his past links to hunting.

Conservative crime commissioner hopeful Jonathon Seed has told the Wiltshire Times of the shocking abuse he and his team are getting.

He said: “I am absolutely determined not to be knocked off course by the cyber bullies and I have been heartened by the amount of support I have received.”

Mr Seed, a Wiltshire councillor since 2007, has become used to abuse over hunting for years, even after he resigned as a Master of Foxhounds in 2012.

He felt the need to speak out because anti-hunt protesters have targeted his volunteer staff as well as his wife and family, even going so far as to hack his personal Facebook account.

Although helpers on Mr Seed’s campaign have been trying to screen calls to protect themselves, one mum who volunteers with him picked up the phone from a withheld number while getting her children ready for logging on to online lessons and a man asked if she worked for Jonathon Seed.

When she said yes, he replied “How can you work for that scum? I hope your house burns down and your children get raped.”

Mr Seed himself has been told: “There is a special place in hell for bastards like you” and that “he should be killed in the same way as a fox”.

“I have an incredibly good team and they are suffering as much as I am, just because of something which when I was involved in it was a legal activity,” he said.

“They are cyber bullying. They believe in direct action and I believe in democracy.

“Hunting continues to be a very emotive subject for those who are anti-hunt and those who are pro-hunt. I have been very clear that fox hunting is now illegal and I do not support the breaking of the Hunting Act or any other laws.

“It doesn’t matter how many times I am asked this question, my answer will be the same, I support robust policing of all illegal activity in the countryside including illegal hunting, hare coursing, violence, and illegal interference with lawful activities in the countryside.”

This week an online petition calling on the Electoral Commission to investigate whether Mr Seed should be allowed to stand for the PCC elections, due to be held in May, quickly gathered 11,000-plus signatures.

Abusive messages call Mr Seed a criminal, claiming he was convicted of illegal trail hunting. Asked about the allegation, he said: “A private prosecution was brought by the RSPCA in 2012. When I arrived at the magistrates court the RSPCA produced no evidence – because there was no evidence – so the case was not even heard.

“This was a case that cost the RSPCA approximately £70,000 that could have gone towards looking after animals in need.”