Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Animal rights activist is accused of Oxford University bombings

An animal rights "fanatic" was behind the planting of petrol bombs at Oxford University as part of a terrorist campaign to stop the building of a £20m research laboratory, a court heard yesterday.

Using fuel and fuses made from sparklers, Mel Broughton worked with others to plant four devices in two separate attacks, a jury at Oxford crown court was told.

The bomb attacks were claimed by the Animal Liberation Front on its website, Bite Back, said John Price, prosecuting.

Broughton is alleged to have caused £14,000 worth of damage when the Queen's College sports pavilion blew up in November 2006. Two similar bombs were planted under a temporary building used as an office at Templeton College three months later but failed to go off.

Price told the jury that Broughton's DNA was found on one of the components used in the unexploded devices. He said police who searched his home in Northampton discovered items used in homemade explosives and a notebook containing a list of those people he had been targeting as part of a campaign known as Speak, to stop Oxford University building an animal testing laboratory.

"There is no dispute that he [Broughton] has dedicated his adult life to issues of animal rights," Price said. "He is a renowned, self-proclaimed activist, a fanatic. He is a - if not the - leading figure of Speak."

Price told the jury that Broughton, 48, had a history of possessing incendiary devices. He was convicted in 2000 at Northampton crown court of conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.

So here's my new proposal for people who are so fine and wonderful and too pure for this world who want to end animal testing -- we're going to send you to a lovely tropical island where you'll never hear about it again.

Oh, and the island is full of tigers and surrounded by sharks. Aloha!

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