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Last Updated: Friday, 15 October, 2004, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Campaigner slams grave attack
Mr Curtin says he has been appalled by the attack
An animal rights campaigner arrested in connection with the desecration of a grave has protested his innocence after he was released on bail.

John Curtin, 41, from Coventry, says whoever is responsible is "repulsive".

The remains of Gladys Hammond, whose son-in-law helps run a farm breeding guinea pigs for medical research, were dug up in Yoxall, near Lichfield.

He was arrested with a 34-year-old from Wolverhampton on Thursday and both were later freed on police bail.

Stop this horrible saga and let this family bury this person once again and try and put some sort of lid on it
John Curtin

The self-confessed animal rights campaigner says he has been appalled by the desecration of Mrs Hammond's grave.

He said: "Every conversation I have had with people is 'Oh my god what is this about? It's disgusting'.

"It has got nothing going for it. It's horrible, repulsive and tactically stupid.

"My mum was buried a few years ago and the thought of someone desecrating any grave really upsets me.

"Stop this horrible saga and let this family bury this person once again and try and put some sort of lid on it."

Grave rededicated

Mrs Hammond's body was removed from her burial plot at St Peter's Church under cover of darkness last week - police have still not recovered her remains.

Mrs Hammond, who died in 1997, was the mother-in-law of Chris Hall, one of two brothers who run Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire.

The family have repeatedly been targeted by animal rights extremists in a campaign that included malicious phone calls, hate mail, hoax bombs, a paedophile smear campaign and arson attacks.

A ceremony to rededicate St Peter's churchyard is planned this weekend.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
How the arrests came about



SEE ALSO:
Men bailed in desecration probe
14 Oct 04  |  Staffordshire
Animal group condemn grave attack
13 Oct 04  |  Staffordshire
Remains taken from damaged grave
11 Oct 04  |  Staffordshire


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