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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 22:19 GMT
Profile: Barry Horne
Barry Horne
Barry Horne died in November 2001
Barry Horne, a prominent animal rights activist convicted of a nationwide fire-bombing campaign who died in 2001, was often making headlines during his lifetime.

Now more than five years after his death, he is back in the news as a possible clue in a police investigation to identify the sender of a series of letter bombs sent to organisations across England and Wales.

His name, police said, had been written on the back of one of the envelopes sent to a firm in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.


Horne died in a prison hospital on 5 November 2001.

The former dustman from Northampton had been serving an 18-year jail sentence for planting home-made bombs in a shopping centre in Bristol.

One was left in a charity shop and another in the BHS department store. They were primed to go off at midnight, when police arrested him.

They found four more bombs on Horne, whose fingertips were covered with sticky tape.

In December 1997, Horne was convicted of 14 charges including causing millions of pounds worth of damage to shops by arson and attempted arson.

In one blaze, a branch of Boots was destroyed: no one was injured but 3m worth of damage was caused.

One police officer described him as a "dangerous and ruthless" individual who believed he could "plant these bombs and get away with it".

But Horne had his supporters.

Pensioner Doreen Pane wrote to him while he was in prison.

"He was willing to sacrifice his own freedom for the sake of this cause."

Horne claims to have undertook three hunger strikes. The third and the one that appears to have ultimately killed him, lasted 68 days.

He was demanding the total abolition of vivisection.

His burial was held at his hometown just before his 50th birthday.

Ahead of his funeral, about 400 people marched though the streets with signs and banners calling for an end to animal cruelty.

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