DVLA man gave addresses to animal rights extremists
Tuesday 26 October 2004
Animal rights extremists seeking to close down a guinea pig farm used a civil servant to obtain the addresses of drivers supplying the establishment and attack their homes, a court heard yesterday.
Barry Dickinson, who works at a regional office of the DVLA, entered the vehicle-licensing agency's central computers to obtain 13 addresses from number plates on vehicles which were seen arriving at Darley Oaks Farm in Staffordshire. The information was then used to target four homes where militants smashed windows, daubed paint on cars and, in one case, placed a hosepipe through a letter box before turning on the tap.
The farm, which supplies animal-testing laboratories, has been the subject of a five-year campaign for its closure which took a macabre turn earlier this month when the body of the mother-in-law of its owner was dug up from her grave.
Dickinson, 34, was jailed for five months yesterday after he admitted providing the data which allowed the campaigners to "identify, intimidate and terrorise" suppliers and contractors to the farm. The conviction followed a lengthy investigation by Staffordshire Police, which has so far spent £1.5m protecting the farm and its workers against what officers have described as the "terrorist tactics" of the extremists.
Speaking after the sentencing of Dickinson at Stafford Crown Court, Inspector David Bird, head of the investigation, said: "This crime was a breach of trust of the highest order - he abused his position as a public servant. He knew exactly what he was doing with the information he obtained and what this was going to be used for. As such, he was as involved and responsible as the extremists who actually committed these acts."
The conviction of Dickinson, who admitted misconduct in a public office between June 2003 and last December, highlights an increasing sophistication in the methods used by militant anti-vivisectionists. His conviction comes just four weeks after grave robbers stole the remains of Gladys Hammond, the mother of Margaret Hall, who is married to Chris Hall - one of three brothers who run the farm.
The desecration was the latest in the five-year campaign conducted against Darley Oaks, which has seen 50 incidents of violence and intimidation, including bricks thrown through windows, phone lines severed and packages of dried dog excrement left on doorsteps.
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy