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Monday, 5 November, 2001, 13:58 GMT
Animal activist dies on hunger strike
Barry Horne
Barry Horne was serving an 18-year jail sentence
Animal rights activist Barry Horne has died in hospital in Worcester after being on hunger strike, the Prison Service said.

Horne, who was serving an 18-year sentence after being convicted of a nationwide fire-bombing campaign, died on Monday morning.

Mr Horne had signed an advance directive refusing medical intervention for his food refusal

Prison Service spokeswoman
The 49-year-old had been refusing food since 21 October, a Prison Service spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

Horne had been at Long Lartin high security prison in Worcestershire until last Thursday, when he was admitted to Ronkswood Hospital with liver problems.

Liver failure

The cause of death was liver failure, a Prison Service spokeswoman said.

"Mr Horne had signed an advance directive refusing medical intervention for his food refusal.

"As Mr Horne was declared to be of sound mind, there was no option but to abide by the instruction of the directive," she said in a statement.

Horne, from Northampton, lost an appeal against his conviction two years ago.

Horne had been sentenced in December 1997 to what was believed to be the longest prison term for an animal rights activist after being convicted at Bristol Crown Court of causing damage costing millions of pounds to shops in arson and attempted arson attacks.

The former dustman and father-of-two had gone on many hunger strikes before.

He came close to death while staging a 68-day hunger strike in 1998 in protest against vivisection.

Writer Carla Lane
"I am not in agreement with the things he did... but I understand why he was driven to it"
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