Animal rights extremist avoids jail

An extremist who threatened to dig up relatives of people connected to an animal research lab subjected her victims to "a prolonged campaign of hate", police said today.

Diane Jamieson, 60, of Lytham Road, Ashton, Preston, was given a suspended 51-week jail sentence at Preston Crown Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to six counts of interfering with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organisation.

The charges arose from threatening letters the former Law Society member and legal worker sent to a number of companies and individuals from 2002 onward.

In one she wrote: "You could find the consequences of your actions pretty grim – having the remains of your loved ones removed never to be seen again."

Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Robbins of Kent Police led the operation which captured Jamieson. He was pleased with the outcome.

He said: "This case featured a large number of victims whose families, as well as themselves, had been subjected to a prolonged campaign of hate and intimidation and who had nonetheless been prepared to give evidence in court.

"We are grateful that as a result of the guilty pleas entered by Diane Jamieson, the victims were spared the ordeal of giving that evidence at court."

The recipients had been identified by a group joined by Jamieson – Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) – as having dealings with animal research companies.

Jamieson demanded that the recipients cease trading with them.

She was among 32 people arrested on May 1 2007 as part of Operation Achilles, a police operation targeting animal rights extremists.

Jamieson, who did not wish to comment to the LEP, is the second person sentenced from the probe.

The judge, Mr Justice Irwin, said Jamieson made "an arrogant assumption" she was in the right morally.

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