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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 18:42 GMT 19:42 UK
Activists jailed for car ambush
Two animal rights activists have been given 16-month jail sentences for attacking a family who displayed a pro-hunting sticker on their car.

Heather Nicholson and Natasha Avery attacked the 75-year-old grandmother, her daughter and grandson as they drove through Richmond in south-west London.

Both women, aged 38, and a third person, Daniel Wadham, all from Yateley, admitted affray.

Wadham, 19, was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders' institute.

Kingston Crown Court heard the daughter, in her mid-40s, known only as Mrs A, had become aware of a woman banging on her windscreen when she stopped at traffic lights in November last year.

'Working dogs'

The woman verbally abused the driver, telling her: "Get that sticker out of your window."

She was referring to a small Countryside Alliance sticker which read: "Two working dogs, working people, work in hunting", the court heard.

The driver tried to escape when the light turned green but was forced to stop at the next set of traffic lights.

The two women and the teenager opened the passenger door and dragged her 21-year-old son out by his legs. His grandmother tried to stop them, but she was hit on the arm.

Families in this country are entitled to travel in peace in their cars without fear of being attacked because of their views
Judge Nicholas Jones

The police arrived shortly after and arrested all three.

The court heard all three acted in the heat of the moment and regretted their actions almost instantly.

The two women both had a string of convictions spanning the previous 10 years.

Wadham was described by his defence as a clean-living person, passionate about the welfare of animals.

Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Jones said: "Your collective behaviour was quite disgraceful.

"Families in this country are entitled to travel in peace in their cars without fear of being attacked because of their views."


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