In April 2011 Luke Steele and Jonathan White were arrested during a peaceful protest camp at Harlan’s Hillcrest site at Belton, Leicestershire, and held for questioning.
Subsequently, exaggerated charges have been laid down in relation to the Save the Harlan Beagles campaign and the Crown Prosecution Service have drafted in their Counter-Terrorist prosecutor in order to deal with the trial.
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (“SOCPA”) is increasingly being used against campaigns and protesters who chose to oppose animal research and gives the outcome of up to five years imprisonment and hefty fines. This piece of legislation outlaws interference with establishment engaged in vivisection, effectively any act which may create change, where a civil wrong (“tort”) has been committed.
The Harlan Two face a combination of nine charges under SOCPA for interfering with British vivisection laboratories Harlan UK, Covance, Eli Lilly and a company delivering laboratory animal feed.
A trial is to be held at Leicester Crown Court during a currently unscheduled date.