In July, Great Britain’s Court of Appeals cut in half the sentences of two animal rights activists after finding they were excessive.
Paul Leboutillier, 44, was originally sentenced to five years, but his sentenced was lowered to 30 months. Paul Holliday, 38, was originally sentenced to 18 months, but had his sentence lowered to 9 months.
Between the two of them, Leboutillier and Holliday made more than a thousand telephone calls to facilities owned by Covance and Huntingdon Life Sciences. Most of the calls were made in an attempt to jam the telephone systems of the two companies.
The justices apparently bought in to Holliday’s contention that he himself was a victim of the animal rights movement. Mr. Justice Herniques noted that Holliday was a “vulnerable individual” who,
[Had] fallen under the influence of more militant members of the animal rights movement . . . and rued his involvement.
The judges also found that the judge who sentenced Leboutillier and Holliday had been influenced “by what he thought was a connection between the appellant and the person responsible for a campaign of letter bombs when in fact there was no such connection.”
Once again, the British legal system strikes fear into the hearts of animal rights extremists.
Jail sentences halved for animal rights activists. Laura Scott, Press Association, July 9, 2004.