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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Animal rights activist jailed
courts generic image
The judge ordered that computers be confiscated
An animal rights activist who carried out a violent campaign against the controversial Huntingdon Life Sciences Group has been jailed for four and a half years.

Robert Moaby, 33, who sent death threats to staff, was also jailed for hoarding indecent pictures of children on his home computer.

Unemployed Moaby sent e-mails containing violent threats to financial backers of the Cambridgeshire-based animal research organisation, Southwark Crown Court was told.


These were not idle threats

Judge Peter Fingret

The messages were full of obscene language and threats of sexual assault, the court was told.

When police examined his computer they also found he had more than 2,800 pornographic images of children.

Judge Peter Fingret told Moaby, of King's Cross, north London, that he was "clearly a person of high risk to the public".

Moaby, a member of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty group, pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening to kill senior corporate figures and financial backers of HLS and 17 further counts of making indecent pictures.

'Instilled fear'

Sentencing Moaby, Judge Fingret said: "Threats to kill offences are aggravated by the pernicious nature of the threats.

Robert Moaby
Moaby told he was of 'high risk' to the public

"These were not idle threats. They must be seen in the context of a violent campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences and its associated companies.

"You must have known that they would instil fear to the people they were addressed and their families."

Moaby possessed images of children, as young as five years old, involved in "appalling sexual acts", Mr Fingret added, but he accepted that this was for his own use and not for distribution.

Sex Offenders' Register

Moaby tried to cover his tracks by installing a device on his computer to delete the information it contained on the hard drive, the court was told.

Moaby was jailed for four and a half years for each of the threatening to kill charges, to be served concurrently.

He was also jailed for 33 months for each of the indecent photograph charges, also to be served concurrently.

He will be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register and the judge ordered the confiscation of his three computers.

See also:

20 Jan 01 | Business
15 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
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