Animal rights activist banned from going near livestock
7th Feb 2018 / By Alistair Driver
An animal rights protestor who broke into chicken sheds in three farms in Suffolk and Essex has been banned from going near land used for livestock or poultry farming.
Teenager Sebastian Brown was initially charged with burglary but admitted three counts of criminal damage. He was sentenced to a three-year community order, 240 hours' unpaid work and a 30-day rehabilitation order at Ipswich Crown Court last Wednesday (January 31).
He was also made the subject of a three-year criminal behaviour order banning him from loitering near livestock and poultry farms.
Mr Brown, now 18, of Lucas House, Colchester, was caught with bolt cutters and a claw hammer after police were called to the Essex farm in September 2017. He reportedly broke into farms, tampered with locks and damaged CCTV equipment and then took video footage of the animals, which posted on You Tube.
Officers discovered handwritten notes at his home address in Colchester which linked him to the other break ins.
Sentencing Brown, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “You pleaded guilty to these three offences committed by you in the mistaken belief as a 17-year-old that you were acting for the greater good. You have a passion and you are perfectly entitled to express your views about animal welfare but what you mustn’t do is do it in a criminal way.
“You can protest, you can lobby, you can join action groups to your heart’s content but you can’t break into people’s property and do damage."
Detective Inspector Maz Wheeler said: "Sebastian Brown caused a lot of damage and disruption to these farms which had been acting entirely legitimately.
"It is unacceptable for anyone to try to take the law into their own hands, and he will have plenty of time to reflect on his actions while he is carrying out unpaid work in the community."
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: "It is good to see justice being done when criminal damage is caused in the name of animal rights activism.
"No one should assume that they are above the law, however justified they think that their action is”.