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