Family terrorised in raid by animal rights protesters

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Alison Little was spending the afternoon at home with her two small children when the first brick came through the window. Further bricks followed, then bottles. The animal rights activists were paying a visit.

Mrs Little's husband, Adam, is manager of a beagle-breeding kennels near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, where 250 people protesting about animal experiments clashed with police on Saturday.

Later in the day, a dozen balaclava-clad demonstrators made their way by car to the couple's home in Hereford, on a new estate about eight miles away.

They hurled missiles at the semi-detached house, smashing five windows, and tried to kick down the front door.

Mr Little was still at the kennels, although his car was parked outside the house. Mrs Little, 28, scooped up her baby daughter, Amber, in her arms and told her four-year-old son, Laurence, to run upstairs out of the way of the flying glass. "They were shouting abuse," Mrs Little said yesterday, still shaken.

"They said it was my punishment for being married to a murdering bastard."

The protesters smashed the windscreen and headlights of Mr Little's Volvo estate and peered in at his wife and daughter through broken panes in the front door. They damaged a hi-fi system and a table inside the house.

Mrs Little said that the family was planning to move. "You never know what it will be next. It could be a petrol bomb."

She added: "They may say they love animals, but they scared the hell out of our cat, Winky. She went into hiding for five hours."

There had been two previous demonstrations outside the house, both of which were peaceful.

During the clashes at the kennels, a total of 24 people were arrested, including a 60-year-old woman who was cautioned for obstructing police.