Protesters accused of breaching exclusion zone at MBR Acres could face jail

The protesters are accused of breaching a court order at MBR Acres.

The protesters are accused of breaching a court order at MBR Acres. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Two protesters involved in anti-vivisection demonstrations outside MBR Acres, in Wyton, could be facing jail.

Bosses at MBR Acres, which breeds animals for medical and clinical research, have accused  Michael Maher, 48, of Dorchester, and Sammi Laidlaw of breaking a High Court judge’s order by entering an exclusion zone at a company's site in November last year.

Lawyers representing the company, which has taken legal action against a protest group called “Free the MBR Beagles”, say Mr Maher and Ms Laidlaw are in contempt of court and should be given a jail sentence.

Mr Maher and Ms Laidlaw dispute the allegations made against them and deny contempt.

Mr Justice Nicklin is considering evidence at a High Court hearing in London which is set to last for two days.

He has also been told that the singer Will Young had been involved in a demonstration at the premises last November when he chained himself to the gates.

The singer was photographed holding a placard and his protest made media headlines.

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Barrister Caroline Bolton, who is leading MBR’s legal team, told the hearing that Mr Maher and Ms Laidlaw had breached an “injunction order” made by Mr Justice Nicklin in November.

She said both had entered an exclusion zone and approached vehicles carrying company employees, in a written case outline.

She said people found to be in contempt could be jailed - but said any sanction would be a matter for the judge.

The defendants deny the allegations.

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