Animal rights activists jailed

Nice to see, but considering what they had done it's a pity that they didn't get more time.

Animal activists who launched smear campaign branding lab suppliers paedophiles and murderers are jailed

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:02 PM on 25th October 2010

* Realistic hoax bombs sent to victims' houses
* 'Murderer', 'puppy killer' and 'scum' daubed on homes, cars
* Leaflets posted describing directors as paedophiles
* Abusive phone calls; threats of violence against employees

Animal activist Sarah Whitehead, 53, was jailed today for six years for her part in the intimidation campaign

A group of animal rights activists who branded their victims 'paedophiles' and sent hoax bombs to their homes were today jailed for between six years and 15 months.

The six activists intimidated companies linked to Huntingdon Life Sciences in an attempt to close down the animal testing lab.

The group, all members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (Shac), waged a 'terrifying' international hate campaign against workers which included sending realistic hoax bombs, committing criminal damage, making abusive telephone calls and threatening violence.

Some company directors had leaflets distributed near their home falsely telling neighbours they were convicted paedophiles and others had blood-soaked items sent through the post with a note saying the blood was HIV positive.

Others had words like puppy killer, murderer and scum daubed on their houses, cars, or on the roads nearby.

The abuse would only stop when the company issued a capitulation statement on the Shac website and cut links with the lab.

Today Sarah Whitehead, 53, Nicole Vosper, 22, Thomas Harris, 27, Jason Mullan, 32, and Nicola Tapping, 29, were all jailed for their part in the intimidation of 40 companies.

Sentencing them at Winchester Crown Court, Judge Keith Cutler said the well-planned and relentless campaign had been 'synonymous with intimidation, violence and terror'.

'The action was taken in order to distress and terrify, and in that you were successful,' he told them.

Hat campaign: Nicole Vosper, 22, left, was jailed for three-and-a-half years, while Nicola Tapping, 29, was sentenced to 15 months

Whitehead, the oldest member of the group - who was referred to as 'Mumsy' by the others - was today given six years in jail.

Sentencing her, Judge Cutler said she led the younger members on and corrupted them.

He said she had carried out up to five direct attacks a night on one occasion and she was 'a long-term campaigner and trusted insider' within the conspiracy who had not shown remorse and would be likely to offend again.

Whitehead also received a 10-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order banning her from taking part in animal rights activities with the others receiving five-year ASBOs on the same terms.

Vosper was also described as a trusted insider by the judge and jailed for three and a half years. She took part in direct action against targets, and was described as having intelligence and ability.

Mullan's role was described as not insignificant and he had been part of Shac since 2002. The judge said he viewed with horror Mullan's behaviour while on a demonstration in Paris in April 2007 and jailed him for three years.

Sentenced: Thomas Harris, 27, left, was jailed for four years, while Jason Mullan, 32, was given three years

Harris was described as having taken over the running of Shac after others were arrested in 2007 and he was fully aware of what others were doing. He was jailed for four years.

Tapping, the judge said, was not on the front line and did not carry out direct action, but she knew what was going on. She received a 15-month jail term.

Fitzpatrick was only 17 when he was part of the conspiracy. He was educated at the international school in Geneva and is from a wealthy family. The judge said he was the least involved and received the suspended sentence.

The youngest member of the conspiracy Alfie Fitzpatrick, 21, received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community work.

The total cost of damage and increased security costs was £12.6 million, the court had heard.

The six were part of a larger conspiracy involving the founder members of Shac, Gregg and Natasha Avery and Heather Nicholson, who used the organisation as a front to intimidate companies under badges like the Animal Liberation Front or the Animal Rights Militia.

Youngest member: Alfie Fitzpatrick, 21, received a suspended sentence

Whitehead, of Littlehampton, West Sussex, Vosper, of Newquay, Cornwall, and Harris, of Ringwood, Hampshire, had all admitted conspiracy to blackmail companies and suppliers linked to the Cambridge-based company between 2001 and 2008.

Mullan, of London, Tapping of Ringwood and Fitzpatrick, of Solihull, West Midlands, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harm Huntingdon Life Sciences from 2005 to 2008 under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 by interfering with companies supplying them.

The maximum jail term for conspiracy to blackmail is 14 years and for conspiracy under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 it is five years.

Other members of Shac, including the founder members Gregg Avery, Natasha Avery and Nicholson, were jailed in January 2009 at Winchester Crown Court for blackmailing companies linked to HLS.

Judge Cutler said that the lawful activities of Shac were a 'thin veneer' and it was a vehicle for intimidation even though he accepted the six had a passionate opposition to animal research laboratories and had 'fiercely held beliefs'.

He then quoted Mr Justice Butterfield, who jailed other members of the conspiracy, when he said: 'I expect you will be seen by some as martyrs for a noble cause but that would be wholly misplaced.

'You are not going to prison for expressing your beliefs, you are going to prison because you have committed a serious criminal offence.'

Police said that since the arrests of the group in 2007, animals rights extremism had been dramatically reduced.

The cost of the operation was put at £4 million.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Robbins from Kent Police, who led the operation, said: 'The sentences passed today are a fitting reflection of the systematic and relentless intimidation of individuals and their employers, carried out by a small group of criminals.

'Such tactics have no place in a democratic society and in no way reflect the peaceful protests carried out by the vast majority of legitimate animal welfare campaigners

Read more: Animal rights activists who targeted Huntingdon Life Sciences jailed | Mail Online
Indeed. These characters are third generation AR extremists: Tom Harris and Nicky Tapping had been active at local level 6-7 years ago. When some of the headshed at SHAC started getting banged up, these people came forward to to take on a higher profile.

Some of the events for which they have been convicted took place 4-5 years ago. As with all cell-based extremist organisations, it has taken forever to make the case: having worked for HLS, I'm mightily glad that these nasty, nasty people will do some well deserved vegan porridge.
Why is it these ******* never DARE target any of the barbaric halal abbatoirs or Butchers, too scared of the consequences perhaps? I'm sure the nice gentle Muslims wouldn't bother calling the Police to deal with them, just send a few of their butchers around with some very sharp knives!

Why do most of them (males included), feel the need to insert lumps of metal in their heads? some other form of inadequacy perhaps!
Criminals. Please will everybody note that these "activists" are in fact criminals. Not "animal-lovers" or "protestors" and not "political " but criminal. Should you come across one of these characters on their release, please make sure you tell everyone that you know of them because they are criminals who were censured heavily by the judge in the case.

When the person/people you are telling about these criminals ask what they went to prison for, say you aren't exactly sure of the details but that they were part of a conspiracy and it had something to do with paedophilia as far as you remember...
I've suffered at the hands of the animal rights mob, including reciept of a jiffy bag with razor blades sewn inside the flap (ouch) and a note saying the blades had been infected with Necrotising fasciitis. I nevertheless think that a ban on animal rights activity, even within the law, is unjust. The woman hasn't been imprisoned for animal rights activity but for criminal acts, therefore I think it against the principles of justice to ban her from that activity. I'm also rather uncomfortable with the way the police tag peaceful protesters as 'domestic extremists.'
P_F: I've seen, at full tilt, peaceful AR protestors. Guess what? They are peaceful when they protest. We never had a problem with them and they're continued presence did wonders for my security budget come November when the lie sheet had to go up the food chain.


The 'peaceful' protestors were also dicking staff vehicles in and out, trades and supply deliveries and noting security routines and strengths.

This information was then passed up their (vegan) food chain and resulted, possibly, in your unwarranted Gillette Mach 3 delivery.

You are no doubt aware that they learnt much from IRA/PIRA. For these reasons, I am comfortable with the term domestic extremists.
I've suffered at the hands of the animal rights mob, including reciept of a jiffy bag with razor blades sewn inside the flap (ouch) and a note saying the blades had been infected with Necrotising fasciitis. I nevertheless think that a ban on animal rights activity, even within the law, is unjust. The woman hasn't been imprisoned for animal rights activity but for criminal acts, therefore I think it against the principles of justice to ban her from that activity. I'm also rather uncomfortable with the way the police tag peaceful protesters as 'domestic extremists.'
I actually support animal rights when it comes to things like banning animal experiments for cosmetics, or needless cruelty to appease some fictional sky pixie!

Genuine medical research on the other hand I support.... if its a choice between a life saving cure for a child or Thumpers well being then I'm afraid thumpers off to Doc Mengeles animal lab!

People should have the right to peacefully protest and of course they should also be denied any life saving treatment that may have been developed thanks to animal experimentation in order to prevent them becoming inadvertant hypocrites!
.............I know of 3 leading AR extremists who take proprietary medication for diabetes and two who willingly accept Glaxo's help with their cancers. Curiously they have decided that laying in a field, surrounded by runic symbols and listening to whale song, will not best serve their individual conditions.
They say if you look into an animal's eyes, you can see its soul.

"Help me. She knits little jackets and makes me wear them. I'm not supposed to do sh1t like that. I'm a fekkin' dog, not the baby she never had. Please, please take me with you when you go."
Being one of the poor sods who had to guard HLS I want to know one important question.

Why couldn't we get people like Miss Vosper out front when I was there getting paid to stare at them through a Amusingly advanced CCTV system? It'd have made the shifts much easier.

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