Judge makes contempt of court ruling against Camp Beagle protesters

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 to be sentenced after a High Court judge made contempt of court rulings.

Bosses at MBR Acres, which breeds animals for research, had accused Michael Maher and Sammi Laidlaw of entering an exclusion zone at a company site in Wyton, Cambridgeshire, in breach of a judge’s order.

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

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

They said they had not meant to breach an injunction.

Mr Justice Nicklin said, in a written ruling published on Monday, that Maher and Laidlaw were both guilty of contempt because they had admitted breaching an injunction by entering an exclusion zone.

The judge had considered evidence at a High Court hearing in London in April.
He said he would consider arguments about penalties at a future hearing.

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

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Maher, who is in his 40s and lives near Dorchester, Dorset, and Laidlaw, who is in her 30s lives near Southend, Essex, are among a number of protesters MBR has taken legal action against.