Janet is a very brave activist who has overcome great adversity

The following is an extract from her book:

In October 2004, Gladys Hammond’s body was stolen from her grave in Yoxall cemetery. Gladys Hammond was the mother in-law of Christopher Hall.

In November a Parcelforce courier delivered a large box to my door. Having seen dead animals nailed to trees at Darley Oaks, some thrown in the protest area, some left squashed in the gutters, having had my door and car paint stripped, having had one of the farm workers drive at me with a tractor and threaten to f****** kill me, having received death threats through the post and numerous anonymous calls, I was a bit wary to open the box so the courier kindly opened it for me. Inside were nine ring binders from Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, a solicitor who had had some success with injunctions against other campaigns.

The box cost £25 to deliver and there were seventeen defendants. Lawson-Cruttenden was now acting for the Hall family and had cited me as a defendant in a High Court injunction to ban protestors from going within 30 square kilometres of Darley Oaks farm, which was to be heard in the Court on 2nd December 2004.

On 1st December 2004, a knock came on my door at 07.50 am. It was Detective Sergeant John Bloor and two female detectives. They arrested me and handed me a search warrant which said, “Reason for search: To look for human remains and a pink shroud”.

They knew the number of my garage and asked for the keys to garage and car. They had no evidence whatsoever to take such action. Yet they arrested me and took me to Burton police station. As we left my flat there were six officers with large boxes waiting on the stairs to seize my property.

They took my computer, fax machine, mobile and land-line phones, video cassettes, CDs, telephone call lists, animal rights books, shopping bags, ripped up paper, Wellington boots, shoes, car rugs and purple ribbon.

I was incarcerated for several hours and interrogated by two different detectives from those who arrested me.

The reason for my arrest: a witness had seen a five feet ten man with not dark hair standing lookout at Yoxall cemetery sometime in September 2004.

My solicitor replied, “Janet’s not five feet ten, she isn’t a man and she’s got no hair” to which the detective said that the same witness had since seen me on the television news and further identified me, this time as a woman.

I denied all knowledge of the incident, truthfully stating I didn’t even know where Yoxall cemetery was situated.

One detective asked, “If you know nothing about it, how were you able to ask Inspector Bird the day after, how many bodies he had dug up?”. I disputed Bird’s accusation, suggesting he had not been the most truthful police officer I had met. The detective suggested I was confused as to what he had said. He claimed he told me the “next Sunday” and not the “next day”.

Of course, the next Sunday would not have applied as by then the grave-robbing which took place mid-week was common knowledge. Also it is a fact that we did not protest the Sunday after the grave-robbing so either way Bird was telling lies.

My arrest had made all the media news referring to me as a grave-robber and stalker.

The next day in London’s High Court I was named as third defendant in the injunction hearing. My solicitor asked why I had been named when I had no convictions, nor cautions, etc to which the opposition replied:” Well, she has been arrested for grave-robbing”.

In Lawson-Cruttenden’s papers I was named in the injunction because of the following reasons:

Since 2nd February 2003 I had been involved in 91 known protest incidents.

On 15th August 2004 I was interviewed by the Times newspaper “in my capacity as a regular protestor outside Newchurch guinea pig farm”.

On the 16th October2004 the Daily Mirror reported that I was at the forefront of the campaign against Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffs, “although she insists she knows nothing of the terror attacks there”.

I was staggered to learn what a dangerous person I was.

At the injunction hearing, Inspector Bird, now in his capacity of personal advisor of my needs, suggested that being as I lived outside the exclusion zone they were applying for, “There is no reason why she needs to travel within it. All her everyday needs can be provided for in Burton”.

He then became a drugs expert and spokesperson for the vivisection industry and continued: “Incidentally, the position of the third defendant is curious and illustrates a rather fundamental contradiction. I understand that the third defendant is presently being treated for cancer with chemotherapy. She is reported as taking the drug epirubicin which is sold under the brand name Pharmarubicin. I understand that this drug was tested on mice, dogs, rats and a small number of guinea pigs”.

Despite all their efforts, the judge refused their application and the protests continued. Another High Court hearing was due in 2005.

After my arrest on 1st December for the grave-robbing, I was asked to attend a video identification parade on 3rd December. I agreed and attended with my solicitor. They took my picture, front and both profiles, put them in a computer and asked it to find a few people out of several thousands of women who resembled me because I had no hair, there was not one suitable match.

I was then asked to walk through the Octagon shopping centre on a busy Saturday morning where the “alleged” witness would attempt to pick me out. I was not allowed to drive into Burton in my car so my solicitor and I were picked up by a policewoman in a marked police vehicle.

We were met outside the centre by a police inspector who asked me if I agreed to do this. I told him that I did agree to do it but that I strongly objected.

I was picked up at the other end of the centre by the WPC and we sat in the police vehicle waiting for my solicitor and the inspector, who said nothing when he joined us, only thank you and goodbye when he left the vehicle.

My solicitor told the witness had said, “I don’t know whether or not I’ve seen her, but it could have been a woman in a pink coat, but she had more hair and her face was pinker”.

I returned to answer bail and was questioned again by the same two detectives who thought the identification had gone well. I asked them how they could think it went well when the witness had first identified me as a five feet ten male with not dark hair then changed it to a woman of five feet four with no hair.

I was shown a photo of me taken at Darley Oaks farm and asked, “If I thought it possible the witness could have mistaken me for a man as I had no hair”. I replied, “That’s possible, but what about my being five feet ten? Have I shrunk?

I was questioned regarding a phone conversation I had with DS Bloor the day before the identification walk through. Bloor said that I had told him that, “she would pick me out”. So how did I know the witness was female? I denied saying female and explained that I had said to Bloor when he asked me how I thought the identification would go that I thought I couldn’t help being picked out as my face had appeared in several newspapers as well as the television.

I suggested they listen to the tape of my conversation with Bloor to confirm what I said to which the detective replied, “Unfortunately the conversation wasn’t taped”.

I was released without charge and bailed again to return at a later date. The day before I was due to return I was informed not to bother.

Again I thought the police would now leave me alone and I continued to peacefully protest at Darley Oaks until the morning of 15th December2005 when I heard a knock on the door at 07.50 am.

It was the male and female DCs who had questioned me for the grave-robbing. They asked if they could come in and sit down. After she had asked after my health I asked her why they had come. She replied, “You’re under arrest for conspiring to blackmail the Hall family”. Gobsmacked, I looked at her and said, “Your boss is bloody crackers”.

I left the room to get washed and dressed and saw Bloor standing by the outside door. Usually Bloor had a lot to say for himself but on this occasion he was subdued.

I washed and dressed, walked into the hallway and was shocked to see Rushdon, the officer who had assaulted me, standing there chewing gum with his mouth wide open.

I said to Bloor, “I don’t want that sadistic thug in my flat”. Bloor replied, “I’m the senior officer here and I say he stays”. Rushdon filmed all of my movements at close range with his mouth wide open.

I had been warned that the police would keep the property they had seized at the time of the grave-robbing arrest indefinitely, so I had acquired another computer and mobile phone.

They had returned my land-line answer-phone some months earlier. This time they seized my new computer, my new mobile phone, all my personal diaries and personal phone directory.

I was taken to Burton police station and incarcerated until my solicitor arrived. I was interrogated by two different detectives from those who arrested me. They claimed that I was part of a conspiracy to blackmail the Hall family. Their reasons for thinking this were:

1. They had me on video hugging three of the four protestors who had earlier been arrested for the same offence.

2. One of the protestors had visited my flat and had left her car keys with me when she went to answer bail.

3. That I had put a statement on the guinea pig website

4.That a walking expert had identified me as, “Bearing many strong resemblances” to a figure seen on CCTV footage of someone “allegedly” planting a bomb at a house belonging to one of Hall’s relations.

I was not in the least bit bothered regarding reasons 1,2 or3 as they were easily explained.

I asked them if they had film of me hugging anyone else, they answered, “yes”. I pointed out the reason the protestor left her car keys with me was because I lived in Burton and she did not, nor did she know the area well so I drove her to the police station. As I would be picking her up she left her home and car keys with me.

I pointed out the reason I put a statement on the guinea pig website was because the police had told that many lies about me that I saw it as the only way of letting the public know the truth.

However, I was worried regarding reason 4 as I believe the police are quite capable of dressing a female police officer up to look like me and film her planting a bomb.

After several interviews I was taken into the custody area where I waited with my solicitor to be shown the footage of me “allegedly” planting the bomb. We had to wait for the custody sergeant to finish processing someone else.

I remember thinking that for something as serious as planting a bomb shouldn’t I have viewed the video in a private room?

Eventually the custody computer was free and turned towards me the video started. I don’t know how I contained myself. The figure on the video bore no resemblance to me whatsoever: the figure was young, slim and sprightly. I am none of these.

I was then shown footage of my walking through Burton town centre. I had been followed and filmed without my knowledge or permission.

Strangely I was not questioned after the viewing, but was released without charge at approx 08.30pm. I was bailed to return at a later date.

My solicitor rang to say he would not attend my bail as the police did not intend to question me further.

I returned to the police station to answer bail at 10.00 am on the date specified. Bloor met me and escorted me to the custody area where he ordered me to give my details to a sullen female custody sergeant. She asked me my name and as I had been referred to as a “terrorist”, I jokingly replied, “Osama Bin Laden”. She gave me the dirtiest of looks and snarled, “I laugh when the joke is funny”. She bailed me yet again and I remarked, “I suppose I will get a phone call the day before telling me not to bother answering bail”. I left the police station at 10.05 am.

I had asked Bloor about returning my computer. He said, “Your computer is nothing to do with me, you’ll have to see your solicitor about it”. I went home and received a phone call from Bloor saying he would return my computer that afternoon. An hour later Bloor and a DC returned all of my property.

The day before I was due to answer bail I was told not to bother.

One Response

  1. well done janet! you provide a sterling example for all of us to emulate. We must continue to stand up to police intimidation of this sort and publicise the names of all corrupt law enforcement officers involved in similar abuses. Is anyone out there willing to set up an e-black list ?

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