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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
'To me it was sacred ground'
Janet Palmer
Janet Palmer said she lived on the "energy of shock"
Being related to a family that was targeted for breeding guinea pigs for medical research meant living in fear.

Janet Palmer is the sister-in-law of Christopher Hall, who owned Darley Oaks Farm in Staffordshire.

She said her family expected to be next on the extremists' target list. They were. Four activists dug up her mother Gladys Hammond's grave.

We were always careful when we visited the Halls and when they visited us.

Cars were hidden and they had to be aware that they weren't being followed. It just became part of life.

If we visited them, we would be fetched by one of the Halls and I would hide in the back of the car in sunglasses.

Sacred ground

But, as it got worse, we did not visit. The Halls' daughters were being sought out and homes damaged. We were concerned there was possibly going to be a fatality.

We never knew what was going to happen, whose house was going to be wrecked or, if they would find us. It was a permanent worry.

When you put someone in a coffin and it's your mum, and then wicked people like this come along and take her body, it's just awful
We felt everyone else in the family had been found and it was thought it was obvious we would be next.

But it was just so unbelievable when the grave was desecrated.

On the day it happened I was on my way home from work and I could not believe the number of police I was seeing in the village.

I came in and was told my sister had called to say my mum's grave had been messed about with.

At this stage, as far as we were aware, that was all that had happened but that upset me because I had been the previous week to take flowers.

To me it was sacred ground and you just don't do that.

Gladys Hammond
Mrs Palmer had no idea where her mother's remains were
Later on, we had another call from her asking if the police could come over... and that's when they came to tell us what had happened.

It was just unbelievable because it was just so gruesome, the most horrendous thing you can imagine that can happen.

When you put someone in a coffin and it's your mum, and then wicked people like this come along and take her body, it's just awful.

I think I went all hyperactive... I just lived on my energy of shock.

It was just awful not knowing what condition she was in

All I was concerned with was getting mum back or anything I could do to help the police, like trying to think of places they may have taken her.

It sounds silly but when it rained I was concerned, was she being rained on, was she open in the elements and wildlife, was she being looked after, was she wrapped up, had they thrown her in a river?

It was just awful not knowing what condition she was in.

When her remains were found it was strange. I felt like I should be elated, but obviously I was delighted and felt like a big burden had been lifted.

I am wishing now that two months ahead, when we have obviously put her back in St Peter's churchyard, life can get back to normal again.

'A country lady'

There has been so much stress and the fact she has been found makes you realise that she has been missing.

She was very much a country lady. She loved cooking, went to a farming college, loved the garden, the dogs and animals - she was concerned about animal welfare.

Police removing Mrs Hammond's remains form Cannock Chase
Police found the remains last week following a tip off
She was always busy and always came round with a cake or a pie she had made. She was always there for you and had the kettle on.

We do not think they (the convicted offenders) are people because it is such a gruesome thing.

To break into a coffin that had been there for a number of years, surely even they, wicked people, must have found that horrendous?



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