A 63-year-old man who breached a High Court injunction by taking photographs of workers at Oxford University's animal research laboratory site has been let off with a caution.
Adrian Appley, from Bromley, Kent, was charged with breaching a civil injunction by taking pictures of a protected person.
The incident happened at the laboratory site in South Parks Road on December 13.
Oxford Magistrates Court on April 21 heard how Appley was not a "professional protester" and there was nothing "sinister" about his behaviour.
Brian Payne, for the prosecution, told the court: "This case is one where had Appley been legally advised immediately after the incident, it is highly likely that a caution would have been administered there and then.
"He is a man of previous good character.
"His actions were a clear breach of the terms of the High Court injunction, but it was more of a technical breach than a sinister act.
"This is not a case where as a result of pictures being taken there was a campaign of intimidation."
Appley did not enter a plea, but district judge Brian Loosley told him by accepting the conditions of the caution he was admitting the offence.
Having seen video evidence of Appley at the site at the time of the offence, both the defence and the prosecution agreed he should been given a caution.
Mr Payne said: "We (both solicitors) agree that a caution should be issued on the condition that Appley complies with the terms of the High Court injunction."
Appley had previously been released on bail under the condition that he does not enter Oxford and these conditions have been left in place until June 19, when a review of the case will be heard.
The court heard how if by this date Appley has obeyed the conditions, no further action will be taken against him, but if the conditions have been breached the case will be re-opened.
Mr Loosley said he was surprised the solicitors had agreed on a caution.
He said: "This is a breach of a High Court injunction. I would have thought one does not go and photograph an ugly building like the laboratory site just to take pictures. I find a caution somewhat surprising, but you both seem to be aware of what has gone on."
Mr Payne replied: "A campaign of intimidation did not follow. The picture presented here is not one of a professional protester, it falls to a much lower level than that. Had Appley been warned at the time he would have desisted. His lack of knowledge of the injunction is the issue."
Kevin Tomlinson, defending, said: "I accept this. This matter would have been resolved in December had my client been given legal advice."
Police have said that today would not see a repeat of the ugly scenes which disrupted the last major protest by animal rights protestors in Oxford, when demonstrators pushed over police barriers on South Parks Road.
They believed police had reneged on an agreement for the protest march to progress to the entrance of the half-built animal research lab.
Around 1,000 demonstrators were expected to descend on the city today with coaches full of protesters travelling from as far afield as Bristol, Yorkshire and Birmingham.
They were not due not march to the laboratory site itself, choosing instead to embark on a march around the city. The event will begin in Broad Street, at noon, where the group will gather, before proceeding along the High Street, over Magdalen Bridge, on to The Plain and into Cowley Place, where they will pause for speeches before returning into town.