UK animal rights extremists cleared of ‘psychological warfare’ on businessman

Posted: by UAR News on 19/03/24

UK animal rights extremists cleared of ‘psychological warfare’ on businessman

Two notorious UK animal rights extremists have been cleared of ‘psychological warfare’ on a businessman after a jury was not informed of their criminal past. 

Mel Broughton and David Blenkinsop have both served prior jail sentences for their role in bombing campaigns on animal research facilities. Broughton had a decade-long sentence for planting homemade petrol bombs at Oxford University and Blenkinsop has previous convictions for participating in a bombing campaign as well as attacking the boss of the animal research laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences with a pickaxe handle.

In the current case, the defendants confronted the victim, his wife, and eight-year-old son at a pub. Protestors shouted obscenities at him daily, causing him to feel unsafe and terrified for his family. Broughton and Blenkinsop had also placed cameras disguised as rocks outside his premises and even followed one staff member to the gym and to his home.  But both were cleared by the jury after claiming they were attempting to “expose offences committed against animals.” 

The jury was not informed of the defendants’ previous convictions, and, according to the Telegraph, there are now calls for stronger laws to protect those involved in research on lifesaving drugs from stalking and harassment. 

UAR worked with The Daily Telegraph and provided a comment for the article: “The victims have placed their faith in the police and the courts and have been badly let down. The tactics of the protest may be different this time around, but they still amount to manipulation and intimidation. Recent medical breakthroughs, such as new drugs for Alzheimer’s, are the direct result of animal research.

“This research is sanctioned by society and approved by mixed-membership ethics committees as a worthwhile exemption to our blanket ban on such experiments. It’s not for self-appointed moral arbiters to declare that they alone get to choose the limits of ethical science, or to use force and intimidation if they don’t get their way. I’m sure that activists across many different issues will regard this case with interest as to the limits of legal protest. Perhaps if MPs are considering new powers to protect themselves from harassment and intimidation, they might consider extending those to the rest of the UK population.”

You can read the full Telegraph article here:

Last edited: 19 March 2024 13:07

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