UK news Camp Beagle activists warned of jail 'likelihood' if injunction breached again last minute news
PremierLeague-News.Com- One activist said he was protesting against an allegedly “evil business" that sends puppies to be "poisoned to death”
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Two Camp Beagle protesters have been given a warning by a judge that a further breach of an injunction limiting demonstrations at MBR Acres could land them prison sentences. Michael Maher, 48, and Sammi Laidlaw, 35 have avoided jail but were given a suspended sentence after admitting to breaching the High Court order. MBR Acres Limited in Wyton, Cambridgeshire, is a site where animals are bred for medical research. Camp Beagle are anti-vivisection protesters who regularly hold demonstrations at the site. MBR Acres Limited accused the pair of entering an exclusion zone at its site in Cambridgeshire in breach of a judge’s order, during anti-vivisection demonstrations in November 2021 and May this year. Maher, from Dorchester, Dorset, and Laidlaw, a housing officer from Southend, Essex, who are part of the Camp Beagle protest group, admitted to unintentional breaches, including entering the zone and approaching or obstructing vehicles exiting it. Read more: Second man charged in connection with murder near Peterborough of Mihai Dobre Mr Justice Nicklin handed Maher a three-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and gave Laidlaw a 28-day sentence which was also suspended for 18 months. Concluding that their breaches were not inadvertent and had caused harm, he warned the pair that “the future lies in your hands” and urged them not to breach the injunction again or “the overwhelming likelihood will be that the court will send you to prison”. A third protester, 52-year-old Victoria Asplin, a carer from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was given no penalty for similar breaches of the court injunction in May, with the judge assessing her case as less serious and including an inadvertent breach. “Moderate your protest so that you stick to the rules,” the judge told all three defendants. In a separate ruling on Tuesday, August 2, the judge criticised MBR Acres for its “wholly frivolous” bid that “borders on vexatious” to bring contempt of court proceedings against a lawyer it alleged had breached the injunction by entering the exclusion zone and obstructing a vehicle. Gillian McGivern, whose law firm has acted for protesters arrested at the Wyton site, was initially accused by the company of being a protester herself and covered by the terms of the injunction that accounted for “persons unknown”. But Ms McGivern insisted she had no knowledge of the injunction and had visited the site in order to get a better understanding of the legal issues there.
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Protests at MBR Acres Camp Beagle near Huntingdon
(Image: Keith Jones)
“Apart from a technical trespass, it is difficult to identify any civil wrong that was committed by Ms McGivern,” he said. He added: “This was not the sort of conduct that the injunction was ever intended to catch. “The court does not grant injunctions to parties to litigation to be used as a weapon against those perceived to be opponents.” The judge said he would make an order requiring MBR Acres to get permission from the court before they can bring further contempt applications against anyone alleged to be in the “persons unknown” category. For the sentencing hearing, Caroline Bolton, representing MBR Acres, claimed in written arguments that the three protesters’ “flagrant” breaches were “wanton disobedience of the injunction order. The defendants were not prevented from exercising their right to protest, and did not need to breach the injunction order to exercise that right,” she said. Addressing the judge on Tuesday, the protesters, who are among a number of activists against whom MBR Acres has taken legal action, apologised for their actions. Maher said in court that he had a “very short fuse”, adding that he was protesting against an allegedly “evil business that sends puppies to be sent to laboratories so that they can be poisoned to death”. Laidlaw claimed in court: “Myself and others are trying so hard to address what we feel is an unlawful business.” In sentencing, Mr Justice Nicklin said the injunction was to prevent “unpleasant confrontations” and “flaring up” between protesters and employees at the Wyton site. He added that it aimed to “hold the balance between the rights of the demonstrators to protest and the rights of the employees to come and go freely”. The judge was previously told that pop star Will Young had been involved in a demonstration outside the Wyton site in November. READ NEXT: 'Vile vandal' defaces memorial bench in Cambridge with graffiti Cambs man among Brits to stand trial as 'mercenaries' in Russia-backed court Incredible 60-year-old Cambs 'adrenaline junkie' ready to 'push himself' on Himalayas hike Popular Cambridge green space named one of the best picnic spots in the UK Plans revealed for empty ground floor of Cambridge Guildhall