Activist 'planted bombs at Oxford'

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The Independent Online

An animal rights campaigner used firework sparklers as fuses in home-made bombs he planted near a laboratory at Oxford University, a court heard.

Mel Broughton's DNA was found on the base of one unexploded device and also on a pack of sparklers found at his home in Northampton, it was alleged.

Two devices, which were lit but did not ignite, were found beneath a portable cabin at Templeton College in February 2007. A third, filled with 12 litres of petrol, ignited on the roof of Queen's College cricket pavilion in November 2006, causing £14,000 of damage.

Neil Moore, for the prosecution, said that Mr Broughton, whose campaign group Speak opposes animal experiments at the university, "lived and breathed animal rights".

Mr Broughton, 49, a former landscape gardener who is one of the UK's foremost animal rights advocates, denies plotting an arson attack and possessing an article with intent to destroy property. The trial continues at Oxford Crown Court.