Two animal rights activists painted abusive slogans on walls and damaged property at two Leeds firms in a bid to scare them into stopping trading with an animal research organisation.
Red paint was used to daub ‘puppy killers’, ‘blood on your hands’ and ‘animal abusers’ and superglue was put in door locks and firedoors.
Catherine Parrish, 28, and Luke Beevers, 19, members of National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), were handed suspended prison sentences yesterday after admitting their involvement in the damage.
Leeds Crown Court heard the pair targeted SRCL and Sunlight in a bid to disrupt the work of Harlan Interfauna.
Jane Stansfield, prosecuting, said Harlan is a company which breeds animals and supplies them to labs who carry out testing on them.
NAVA had been running a campaign against Harlan but were made the subject of a court order which limited their protests. The group then began to target companies which traded with them.
SRCL, based at Hunslet, provides Harlan with a waste disposal service and Sunlight supplies them with laundry.
It was targeted on the night of January 6 last year and a letter was left at the scene which read: “We warned you, drop out of Harlan or it will only get worse.”
Premises at Sunlight, based at Armley, were targeted on January 21.
DNA on a glove and glass on a hammer found at Beevers’ home, in Holmfirth, provided evidence linking him to the scene.
An aerosol found at Parrish’s home on Stanmore View, Burley, Leeds, matched paint found at the scene.
They both pleaded guilty to two counts of interfering with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation. Both were given 16-month prison sentences, suspended for two years, and 150 hours unpaid work.
Mark Foley, for Beevers, said his client was a “principled young man”. Amos Waldman, for Parrish, said disrupting Harlan had become her “raison d’etre”.