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Animal rights extremists to face trial


26th November 2006

Three alleged animal rights extremists accuse of intimidating vivisection companies and their customers appeared at the Old Bailey last week to hear that they will stand trial in February next year.

Husband and wife Suzanne and Mark Taylor, and Theresa Portwine are accused of intimidating companies and individuals doing work for Huntingdon Life Sciences - a firm that is involved in animal experiments.

The trio are charged under the Serious and organised Crime and Police Act 2005 relating to animal rights protest activity.

The Taylors from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and Portwine, of Croydon, south London, were arrested following a series of coordinated raids on 13 premises by Cheshire, Cambridgeshire, London, Humberside, Thames Valley, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire police forces.

The investigation was overseen by the National Domestic Extremism Team.

It is alleged they demonstrated at the customers or suppliers of research organisation Huntingdon Life Sciences which had been targeted by animal rights extremists in a long running campaign.

The trio are accused of trying to force those customers or suppliers to break their contracts with firms carrying out vivisection. They are also charged with intimidating people connected with animal research organisations.

They were not asked to enter pleas the brief hearing on Friday.

All three were released on police bail and are due to appear again at the Central Criminal Court for a plea and directions on December 22.

A trial date has been set for February 26, next year

 

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