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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Men admit farm blackmail charges
Gladys Hammond
The remains of Gladys Hammond were removed from her grave
Three men have admitted conspiracy to blackmail in a case where the remains of a woman were dug up from her grave.

Two men aged 36, from Manchester and Birmingham, and 39-year-old from Wolverhampton, admitted conspiring to blackmail David Hall and Partners.

The family firm ran a guinea pig farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire. The remains of a relative, Gladys Hammond, were desecrated in October 2004.

They were remanded in custody. A fourth defendant is due in court on Tuesday.

'Grave desecration'

Jon Ablewhite, of Hawley St, Levenshulme, Manchester, Kerry Whitburn, of Summer Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham and John Smith, of Leicester Street, Wolverhampton all changed their plea during a preparatory hearing for the trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

They will appear before a full hearing on 10 and 11 May.

Josephine Mayo, 38, of Springbank Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, will appear at the court for an additional hearing on Tuesday.

The conspiracy to blackmail charge relates to a campaign against the Hall family at Darley Oaks Farm, Newchurch, between 1999 and 2005.

It includes the desecration of the grave of Mrs Hammond, Christopher Hall's mother-in-law, in Yoxall.


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