Grave desecration: animal rights pair freed

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The Independent Online

Police have released one of Britain's most high-profile animal rights activists after his arrest yesterday in connection with the theft of an 82-year-old woman's remains from her grave.

Police have released one of Britain's most high-profile animal rights activists after his arrest yesterday in connection with the theft of an 82-year-old woman's remains from her grave.

John Curtin, 41, was taken into custody in a dawn raid at his home in Coventry. A second man, aged 34, also believed to be ananimal rights activist, was arrested in Wolverhampton at about 6.30am. Both were both on police bail last night.

Detectives have been investigating links between the grave robbery last week at St Peter's Church in Yoxall, Staffordshire, and a five-year protest against a guinea pig farm at nearby Newchurch. Gladys Hammond, whose grave was desecrated, was the mother-in-law of Chris Hall, partner in Darley Oaks Farm, which breeds animals for medical research.

Staffordshire Police declined to confirm the men's identities.

Mr Curtin is one of 10 people named in an injunction being sought by Oxford University over protests that halted construction of an animal laboratory when contractors pulled out after being targeted. A similar protest forced the cancellation of a research centre at Cambridge earlier this year.