today condemned Mel Broughton for "risking the lives of other people"
in his campaign to stop scientific testing on animals
Broughton's conviction for conspiracy to commit arson, acting Det Supt Mark
Jones, of Thames Valley Police, said: "A lengthy and thorough investigation
has today been rewarded with an excellent result.
evidence showed the jury that Broughton's interest in the animal rights
cause went further than that of a legitimate protester.
has been proven to be someone who believes direct action, in the form of
planting explosives and setting fires, is acceptable.
doing so, he has shown that he is willing to risk the lives of other people
for his cause.
conviction today demonstrates that detectives will continue to pursue all
lines of enquiry available, even many months down the line.
as science provides an increasingly effective tool in the fight against
extremism, anyone considering crossing the line between reasonable, lawful
protest and criminal activity should take note."
lawyer Paul Harrison said: "Although Mel Broughton claimed to be merely
a spokesperson for the campaign against the building of the Oxford Laboratory
and a peaceful protester and activist, we produced evidence in court to
show that he played a far more proactive and sinister role by taking part
in a fire bombing campaign.
presented to the jury included Mel Broughton's inflammatory speeches and
his previous conviction for a similar offence, along with his DNA material
and fingerprints on the unexploded devices and material associated with
also found a quantity of sparklers, similar to those used as a fuse in the
unexploded devices, deliberately concealed at Broughton's home. "The
attacks were aimed at damaging property rather than people as they were
carried out at night, but firebombs are indiscriminate.
well as causing serious damage to property they also threaten the lives
of anybody in the vicinity and particularly those of members of the emergency
services who have the task of dealing with the aftermath.
our society supports the right to free speech and to campaign peacefully,
Mel Broughton went well beyond that by using force against a legitimate
academic institution and business in an attempt to further his aims.
prosecution demonstrates that, where there is evidence of criminal behaviour,
regardless of the perceived cause, a prosecution will almost certainly follow."
us not forget that Mel was set up. He did not do what he has been convicted
of. They did what they did to him to get him out of the way. Mel, like all
activists campaigning against these atrocities, is a thorn in the side of
those who perpetrate them. Mel has a slim hope of being freed through appeal
but to him the most important thing is for there to be more people on the
streets of Oxford. http://www.speakcampaigns.org/
broughton freed on bail 30/3/10 read
fire-bomb conviction overturned 25/3/10 read
appeal over fire-bomb conviction 25/2/10 read
animal rights activist cleared of possessing explosive substance 6/11/08
internment is new tactic to deal with animal rights movement 18/1/08 read