AN animal rights protester will stand trial in June accused of an alleged firebomb attack on Oxford University.

Mel Broughton, 48, of Semilong Road, Northampton, appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday morning.

Broughton spoke only to confirm his name and to deny charges of conspiracy to commit arson and possession of articles with intent to destroy property.

He was produced from custody and wore a brown fleece and glasses for the two-and-a-half hour hearing.

David Bentley, defending Broughton, said he would tell the court within seven days if he wished to ask for the trial to be moved away from Oxford.

Neil Moore, prosecuting, opposed Mr Bentley’s application for bail.

Judge Julian Hall granted Broughton bail on what he called “stringent conditions”, including banning Broughton from entering Oxfordshire and forbidding him from carrying out any animal rights activities.

Judge Hall banned the public from knowing other bail conditions.

A trial is set to start on Tuesday, June 15, and is expected to last for two to three weeks.

Supporters of Broughton, including his mother, were present in court.