Rights Activist Admits Barclays Attacks
rights activist has pleaded guilty to helping attack four Barclays Bank
branches in Hampshire because of the company's then links to the animal
testing lab, Huntingdon Life Sciences.
Harris, 27, is a prominent member of the group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
(Shac), and is already serving a four-year jail term for conspiracy to blackmail
companies linked to Cambridge-based HLS in an attempt to close it down.
Harris of Somerville Road, Ringwood, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy
to commit criminal damage between September and November 2008 on the eve
of his trial at Winchester Crown Court.
others, Christopher Potter, 20, and Maria Neal, 19, both from Seggs Lane,
Alcester, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to the same charge at an earlier
hearing. The maximum sentence for the offence is 10 years in prison. Harris's
girlfriend and another prominent member of Shac, Nicola Tapping, 29, who
is also serving a prison sentence for earlier offences linked to Shac, had
a charge of conspiracy to commit criminal damage ordered to lie on file
by the judge, Keith Cutler.
The trio planned and carried out the attack on Barclays, leaving graffiti
such as "murderer" daubed on doors. They then damaged a car of
someone they mistakenly thought had links to a company supplying HLS.
three will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on January 13.
said it no longer has links to HLS but did through its asset management
business when the attacks took place.
hearing is the latest in a series of prosecutions of people linked to Shac.
last year, six activists, including Harris and Tapping, were sentenced for
their part in attempts to close HLS down.