Activists Blamed For Blaze + Car Damage


Animal rights activists are believed to be behind an arson attack at a Staffordshire farm, which has left a £30,000 trail of destruction in its wake.
Police say they are now worried for the safety of 72-year-old Keith Stephens and his family after the overnight attack at the farm in Acton Trussell.
Three cars parked in the driveway, a Citroen saloon, a Suzuki 4×4 and a Transit van were also damaged after being covered in battery acid. The latest attack rounds off a year of misery for Mr Stephens.

It follows articles he wrote about badger culls for The Farmer magazine. Detectives today said they were investigating if it was the work of animal rights activists.
Pc Darren Munnerley, one of the officers involved in the police investigation, revealed: “This is a line of inquiry being investigated.
“We are treating this matter very seriously because of the way things have escalated recently. We are concerned for the safety of the family.”
Mr Stephens has run 20-acre Acorn Farm, with 100 sheep, for 50 years. He lives there with wife Pat, 70, daughter Amy, a 28-year-old solicitor and her husband Dale Glover aged 26.

Mr Glover, a retained fireman, said: “I am absolutely terrified about what could happen next. The repair bill has probably reached £30,000 and my mother-in-law’s health has deteriorated rapidly over the past six months because of all the stress and strain caused. “We believe that an article written by my father-in-law on badger culls could have triggered a totally disproportionate response from animal rights activists.

“The piece was not outspoken but was published shortly before all this started.”

Problems began when yards of fencing were torn down and fence posts uprooted. Then offensive slogans were spray-painted across the doors of a barn.
The barn was burned to the ground in a suspicious fire on Monday October 5.

From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann