Cancer scientist jailed for animal test attacks

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The Independent Online

A "brilliant" cancer research specialist who waged a sabotage campaign against companies linked to animal experiments has been jailed for three years .

Joseph Harris, 26, was said to have been driven to animal activism by an "increasing moral dilemma" prompted by the tests he was asked to perform on animals as part of his research into pancreatic cancer. Northampton Crown Court was told that he caused £25,000 worth of damage in attacks on three companies linked to the animal-testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences. At the time, he was working on molecular biology at Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham.

Judge Ian Alexander said: "It may well be that your future inability to continue your research into gastro-intestinal cancer will be a great loss to those who suffer that disease. The seriousness and objective of your offences must be marked as a punishment and deterrent to others."

The court heard that none of his victims was directly involved in animal testing and he found their details on the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty website. He was arrested at the scene of his third attack and was charged with the other offences on DNA evidence.