Seven animal rights activists who blackmailed companies that supplied linkurl:Huntingdon Life Sciences,; an animal testing laboratory based in the UK, were sentenced today (Jan. 21) to between four and 11 years in prison. From 2001 to 2007, members of the linkurl:Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty; (SHAC) group used inflammatory graffiti, false allegations of pedophilia, and bomb hoaxes to intimidate managers and staff with links to the Cambridge-based company.
linkurl:Last month,; the seven activists -- who were described by the sentencing judge as "urban terrorists" -- were found guilty of conspiracy to blackmail. Heather Nicholson, 41, a founding member of SHAC, was sentenced today to 11 years in prison, while co-founders Gregg and Natasha Avery, 41 and 39 respectively, each received nine-year sentences. Four other leading members of SHAC were handed jail terms of between four and eight years. Another defendant, Trevor Holmes, 51, was cleared of the charges. While passing the...

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