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Retrial for animal rights activist?

25 March 2010

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Category: Antivivisection & extremism

activist–protest–sign.jpgAn animal rights activist who was jailed last year for a firebombing plot against Oxford University in 2006 faces a retrial.

Mel Broughton, a leader of the SPEAK campaign against the University, appealed his 10-year sentence last month and yesterday the appeal court judge quashed his conviction as unsafe. Broughton had claimed that the DNA evidence against him was unreliable, but the Judge disagreed.

Lord Justice Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Kitchin and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, said there had been an error in the way the trial judge had summed up the evidence to the jury which meant the conviction was 'unsafe' but he added that the trial judge 'was correct in admitting the DNA evidence before the jury'.  

Lord Thomas ruled that nothing more of his judgment could be published, then ordered Broughton, who was not present in court, be retried on the allegation as soon as possible.