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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 16:49 GMT
Longer jail term for blackmailer
Deborah Morrison
Deborah Morrison pleaded guilty to 12 offences
An animal rights extremist who waged a five-year blackmail campaign against companies and individuals has had her jail sentence increased.

Deborah Morrison, 35, from Dorchester, Dorset, pleaded guilty to 12 offences, including six charges of blackmail, at Stafford Crown Court in October.

Court of Appeal judges have now ruled Morrison's sentence should increase from eight months to two years.

The judges said the original sentence had been "unduly lenient".

Over five years Morrison sent dozens of emails and letters - some containing white powder - to individuals and companies which had, or used to have, connections with animal research organisations.

'Serious crime'

One firm she targeted had links with Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, which bred guinea pigs for research until January 2006.

In total Morrison pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted blackmail, three charges of interference with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation, and two charges of attempting to interfere with contractual links to animal research organisations.

Lord Justice Tuckey, sitting with Mr Justice Burton and Mr Justice Saunders at the Court of Appeal, said it was necessary for courts to show how seriously they took those sorts of offences to act as a deterrent to others.

Insp David Bird, of Staffordshire Police, said: "Morrison was involved in serious crime over several years in the name of animal rights.

"Her offences affected dozens of people and their families throughout the country."

He added that the increased sentence "reflects the impact Morrison's crime had on her victims."



SEE ALSO
Court jails animal rights woman
16 Nov 07 |  Dorset
Woman sent animal rights threats
16 Oct 07 |  Staffordshire

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