Appeal Over Animal Rights Fire-Bomb Conviction


An animal rights campaigner jailed for 10 years for fire-bombing Oxford University has started an Appeal Court fight to clear his name Mel Broughton, 48, of Semilong Road in Northampton, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson in February last year. The court heard he had targeted Queen's and Templeton colleges over plans to build an animal research laboratory. Broughton argues he was found guilty on the basis of unreliable DNA evidence. He was arrested after two improvised devices, made up of fuel and fuses made from sparklers, exploded at Queen's College sports pavilion in November 2006, causing almost £14,000 worth of damage.
'Great public concern' Two similar bombs were planted underneath a portable building at Templeton College in February 2007, but failed to go off.

Broughton, a leading figure in an animals rights movement set up in 2004 in protest at plans to build an animal testing research laboratory at Oxford, protested to police that he was a peaceful protester only. His appeal against the conviction was before Lord Justice Thomas, Mr Justice Kitchin and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court. The appeal heard the prosecution had claimed in the original trial that Broughton's DNA was found on a matchstick used as part of the fuse in one of the failed Templeton College devices.

Broughton's barrister, David Bentley QC, argued that the "reliability" of that DNA evidence was "not sufficient" for it to be admitted before the jury. However, prosecution lawyers insisted the DNA evidence had been "validated" by "techniques which were entirely adequate". Lord Justice Thomas reserved his judgement on the case at the end of a half-day hearing, to allow the court time to consider the complicated scientific evidence. "It is the duty of this court to see whether the judge came to a decision that was reasonably open to him. This sort of evidence is of great public concern," the judge added.

The Appeal Court will give its ruling on Broughton's appeal at an unspecified later date.


Let 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.

The Animal Protection Party will be standing in Oxford at the General Election in a couple of months. This is a great opportunity that we can all get involved in to raise this issue to new heights and to take away the privileges that Oxford MP Evan Harris has accumulated on the suffering of countless animals. - Keith

The Animal Protection Party is set to launch candidates in constituencies of primary focus to those wanting a better world for the animals. Just think of the potential this vast swath of compassion has to affect the way politics encourages animal abuse if, as we intend, those MP’s who stand in places such as Oxford, Huntingdon, Wickham and Vauxhall lose their seats because of APP opposition. Let’s be clear, we don’t want their seat nor to be a lonely cog in a corrupted system, we want them out. In Vauxhall, London Labour MP Kate Hoey stands funded as the chair of the Countryside Alliance and is working to overturn the hunting ban. Evan Harris has overseen the opening of the highly contentious animal testing lab in Oxford where monkeys are being brain damaged as we speak. At the vile Huntingdon Life Sciences laboratory complex in Cambridgeshire many different species are tortured every day and 500 die.

And who will speak out against the use of tens of thousands of animals in gross Botox cosmetic tests at Wickham Laboratories? Clearly not the elected representatives in these constituencies! That’s where we come in. We need your help. We particularly need donations right now. Politics is an expensive business, and we desperately need your help with campaign funds. We also need supporters on the streets when we canvas. If we work together we can take control of the way things work in this world. Join us as we flood these areas with our message and make the gravy train that these MPs travel on a lot less comfy. More…


Related Articles:

mel broughton freed on bail 30/3/10 read
fire-bomb conviction overturned 25/3/10 read
police condemn broughton 13/2/09 read
animal rights activist cleared of possessing explosive substance 6/11/08 read
internment is new tactic to deal with animal rights movement 18/1/08 read


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

© Keith Mann