Two men have been sentenced to a total of three years imprisonment at Oxford Crown Court today for offences linked to animal rights.

Robert Griffiths, 59, of Kingsfield Oval, Stoke-on-Trent, and Robert Lewis, 62, of Pheasant Road, Trebanos, Swansea, pleaded guilty to offences under section 146 of the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 on October 12.

They were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and given a ten-year anti-social behaviour order. Their sentences were reduced on the grounds of their guilty plea, as well as their current health status.

On sentencing the two defendants, Judge King said: “I want to send a message to anyone else appearing before a court that such conduct cannot be tolerated and a custodial sentence must be expected”.

The convictions relate to a number of offences across the UK and the United States between 1January 1, 2002, and January 27, 2009, in which threatening letters were sent to companies linked to drug testing, as well as their business partners and employees.

Det Chief Insp Mark Jones, who investigated the case, said: “The vast majority of animal rights campaigners are law abiding and further their cause through peaceful, democratic means.

"Griffiths and Lewis chose not to follow this course and embarked on an illegal campaign which caused distress and anxiety to their victims, all of whom were law abiding businesses and companies."