Nine charged after animal extremism raids

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Nine people have been charged after a series of police raids targeting animal rights extremists across the country.

Seven people have been charged with conspiracy to blackmail and two others with individual offences of blackmail, the crown prosecution service (CPS) said.

Warrants were executed in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Kent, Greater London, Merseyside, Worcestershire, Lancashire, Northumbria and Yorkshire, West Mercia, Strathclyde, south Wales and Middlesex on Tuesday morning and 32 arrests were made.

Raids also took place at premises in Belgium and the Netherlands as part of the same operation, which was led by detectives from Hampshire police.

Of those arrested, 20 have been released on police bail and a 35-year-old man from Glasgow has been released without charge.

Hampshire police named those charged with conspiracy to blackmail as: Daniel Amos, 20, and Gerrah Selby, 19, both of Church Crookham, Hampshire; Linus Harrison, 21, and Grace Quantock, 19, both of Wokingham, Berkshire; Stephen Barclay, 50, of Redbridge Hollow, Oxford; Gavin Medd-Hall, 44, of Croydon, London; and Daniel Wadham, 20, of Brynmair, Aberdare.

All seven have been granted conditional bail and will appear before Portsmouth magistrates court on May 15th.

Additionally, Dianne Jamieson, 59, from Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire, has been charged with blackmail, bailed and will appear before Preston magistrates court at a later date.

Suzanne Jaggers, 35, from Skipton, North Yorkshire, has also been charged with blackmail offences and remanded in custody ahead of an appearance at Skipton magistrates court.

Alastair Nisbet, lead prosecutor for CPS on the case, said: "We have been working with the police throughout this investigation, advising on a number of preliminary legal issues both before and after the arrests were made.

"The evidence has been carefully examined and assessed, in order to come to a charging decision at the earliest possible opportunity."

Searches were also conducted at the various raided premises and £100,000 in cash, mobile telephones, computer equipment and documents were recovered.

The operation was part of an ongoing investigation into criminal activity associated with animal rights extremism and about 700 police officers and other staff took part.

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