Grief and fury over veal `martyr'

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The Independent Online
Seventy demonstrators yesterday attacked the home of the two aviation company directors responsible for airlifting calves to the Continent through Coventry airport. The attack came less than a day after a protester, Jill Phipps, was crushed to dea th outside the airport by a lorry carrying calves.

In another incident last night at Plymouth, a police chief inspector was taken to hospital after being hit on the head by a brick thrown by protesters trying to prevent a convoy of nine lorries carrying veal calves and sheep reaching Millbay Docks.

The trouble outside the homes of the Coventry aviation directors flared during a demonstration by about 200 people outside the home of Christopher Barrett-Jolley and his wife, Maria. A group of about 70 demonstrators left the main protest and ran towardsthe Barrett-Jolley's mock Georgian home in the village of Frankton, near Rugby, and began hurling stones and bricks at the house.

Virtually all the ground floor windows were smashed in the assault. No protesters managed to break into the house and nobody inside the house was injured. One officer, Sergeant Eric Hughes, was slightly injured after being "bowled over" by the protesters.

John Bradshaw, spokesman for Phoenix Aviation, who was in the house when it was attacked, said he saw about 70 protesters in their late teens and early 20s surge towards the house.

One policeman tackled the protesters and was immediately mobbed by three or four more. "He was given a bit of a kicking and as a result the other protester got away," said Mr Bradshaw The house has been attacked several times and full-time security has been hired by the Barrett-Jolleys to try to prevent similar attacks. Mr Barrett-Jolley is also accompanied by at least two bodyguards whenever he leaves his home.

At the airport wreaths, flowers and purple ribbons - signalling opposition to the trade - were draped over the perimeter fence.

Protesters, several of whom had seen Ms Phipps crushed the previous day, expressed their anger at her death.

"Jill didn't come here to give up her life. She didn't come here to be a martyr she came here to use civil disobedience to stop this trade," said John Wright.

"It's a watershed within the movement. Animal liberation is an idea whose time has finally come."

Beryl Roberts, from Birmingham, another regular at the airport vigil, said: "She was not a protester for protest's sake. She didn't want to protest but had to do something about the cruelty. It was a sign of our desperation and frustration what you saw last night."

Compassion in World Farming regional co-ordinator Peter Keevil, said Ms Phipps was impassioned about animals. "She has lost her life because of this vile trade. She would want the protest to continue and if, at the end of the day, the veal trade is stopped her death will not have been in vain."

The directors of Phoenix Aviation were deciding whether to continue the voluntary moratorium on calf flights last night with three exporters who use the company.

Campaigners against the trade at Shoreham in West Sussex were scenting victory last night when the port's general manager announced he was to resign.

Port resignation, page 3

The life of Jill Phipps page 17

Leading article, page 18