Free the MBR Beagles protesters will have to wait for judge's decision

Michael Maher and Sammi Laidlaw outside the High Court in London on April 7.

Michael Maher and Sammi Laidlaw outside the High Court in London on April 7. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Two protesters involved in anti-vivisection demonstrations, which featured singer Will Young, are waiting for a High Court judge's ruling after being accused of breaking an injunction.

Bosses at MBR Acres, which breeds animals for medical and clinical research, have accused Michael Maher and Sammi Laidlaw of entering an exclusion zone at a company site in Wyton in November - in breach of a judge's order.

Lawyers representing the company, which has taken legal action against members of the Free the MBR Beagles group, say Maher and Laidlaw are in contempt of court.

Mr Justice Nicklin finished considering evidence at a High Court hearing in London today (April 7).

He said he would deliver a ruling on a date to be fixed.

Some of the Free the MBR Beagles supporter outside the High Court in London on April 7.

Some of the Free the MBR Beagles supporter outside the High Court in London on April 7. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Maher and Laidlaw, who are part of a Camp Beagle protest group, had denied contempt.

But they told the judge that, having seen evidence, they may have breached an injunction.

Most Read

They said they had not meant to breach an injunction.

Mr Justice Nicklin was told that pop star Young had been involved in a demonstration outside the Wyton site in November.

Young was photographed holding a placard and his protest made headlines.

The judge had outlined detail of the litigation in a written ruling, published after he made injunctions in November.

Mr Justice Nicklin said MBR was a subsidiary of the Marshall Farm Group Ltd, which was incorporated in the United States and trades as Marshall Bioresources.

He said MBR bred animals for medical and clinical research.

Maher, 48, who lives near Dorchester, Dorset, and Laidlaw, 35, who lives near Southend, Essex, were among a number of protesters MBR had taken legal action against.

Barrister Caroline Bolton, who is leading MBR’s legal team, told the hearing that Maher, who was also known as John Thibeault, and Laidlaw had breached an injunction  made in November.

Both had entered an exclusion zone and approached vehicles carrying company employees, she said in a written case outline.

She said people found to be in contempt could be jailed, but said any sanction would be a matter for the judge.