Animal rights election candidate served time for arson

Keith Mann

Keith Mann

First published in News by

An animal rights activist standing for parliament in Oxford West and Abingdon has spent seven years in prison for arson attacks, we can reveal.

Keith Mann, who once escaped police custody before going on the run, is representing the Animal Protection Party.

The 43-year-old last night defended his right to stand despite serving time for setting fire to lorries and possessing explosives in connection with protests against testing on animals.

He is campaigning against Oxford’s bio-medical science laboratory, in South Parks Road, and Lib Dem candidate Dr Evan Harris’s support for the experiments.

But father-of-one Mr Mann said his aim was to now influence Government policy through legal channels.

He said: “In the past I have broken the law. But I would not encourage anyone to do that now, although I can understand why people resort to crime when the Government puts restrictions on things like the right to protest.”

Last night Dr Harris, who has been labelled ‘Dr Death’ on Mr Mann’s website, said he had asked police for advice on safety before a hustings meeting on Thursday at Abbey Hall, Guildhall, Abingdon, starting at 7.30pm.

Mr Mann was arrested in 1991 after carrying out a series of fire attacks on slaughterhouse lorries in Oldham.

He was convicted of the attacks in 1994 and was sentenced to 14 years, later reduced to 11 on appeal, and eventually served seven years.

The 21 offences included arson and possessing explosives, as well as escaping from custody by scaling a 15ft wall while on remand at Stretford Police Station, in Manchester.

He was recaptured ten months later at an East Sussex animal sanctuary, where he had been working under an assumed name.

The owner, model Celia Hammond, was unaware of his past.

In 2005, Mr Mann was found guilty of organising a raid on Hampshire’s Wickham Laboratories in 2003, which led to 695 mice being stolen.

And, after receiving a 230-hour community punishment order, he was jailed for six months for contempt of court after a verbal threat aimed at the laboratory’s director while leaving court.

In UK law, only a person serving a prison sentence is not allowed to stand for Parliament.

Mr Mann said: “This is the first time I have stood for election and I believe I can make changes to policies on animal testing through legal means. I cannot wait to get the chance to take part in hustings and take on Evan Harris.

“I have not been in Abingdon yet, although I was once held in cells in Oxford, and I have been campaigning in Oxford where people have been very receptive.”

Dr Harris said: “I recognise and accept the need for carefully regulated use of animals for medical research.

“Obviously, not everyone agrees with that and they are entitled to vote for Mr Mann and disagree with me. I have seen his personal attacks against me online and I don’t think there’s any place for that in British politics.”

He added: “I have asked police for safety advice regarding Mr Mann.”

It is the first election the Animal Protection Party has fought and the party is also fielding candidates in Huntingdon, Vauxhall and Meon Valley.

Thames Valley Police spokesman Rebecca Webber said: “We are aware of Dr Harris’s concerns regarding a candidate standing against him.

“We will be discussing the matter further with him and offering advice over the next week and will then make a decision on whether any further police involvement is necessary.”

Comments (27)

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8:50am Sat 24 Apr 10

Berty says...

Prat.
Prat. Berty
  • Score: 0

10:22am Sat 24 Apr 10

Sophia says...

Not 'animal rights', but 'animal fascists'. Like facsists, they exult in the feeling that they are above all law and morality because they are totally right and their enemies deserve to be killed, maimed etc Vile people.

I look forward to the day this idiot is in prison again, but this time, dont let him out please
Not 'animal rights', but 'animal fascists'. Like facsists, they exult in the feeling that they are above all law and morality because they are totally right and their enemies deserve to be killed, maimed etc Vile people. I look forward to the day this idiot is in prison again, but this time, dont let him out please Sophia
  • Score: 0

3:01pm Sat 24 Apr 10

shacwatch says...

Keith is little more than a living joke these days - have a look at his website and you'll find he subscribes to alien conspiracy theories of the sort David Ike spouts - SPEAK / ALF failed to prevent the Oxford Lab being built and they will fail once again -£500 down the drain - I wonder if all the old ladies who gave their pounds to help the kitties would approve?
Keith is little more than a living joke these days - have a look at his website and you'll find he subscribes to alien conspiracy theories of the sort David Ike spouts - SPEAK / ALF failed to prevent the Oxford Lab being built and they will fail once again -£500 down the drain - I wonder if all the old ladies who gave their pounds to help the kitties would approve? shacwatch
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Sat 24 Apr 10

Stephen Crane says...

Keith has paid his debt to society (unlike the theiving MPs who will never be held to account for their expenses) and is therefore fully entitled to stand for Parliament. Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison for his beliefs, but I doubt anyone here would attack his morality.
Keith has paid his debt to society (unlike the theiving MPs who will never be held to account for their expenses) and is therefore fully entitled to stand for Parliament. Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison for his beliefs, but I doubt anyone here would attack his morality. Stephen Crane
  • Score: 0

8:12pm Sat 24 Apr 10

EB says...

Another criminal might make in into the House of Commons. He'll be in good company then....
Another criminal might make in into the House of Commons. He'll be in good company then.... EB
  • Score: 0

9:27am Sun 25 Apr 10

Berty says...

Interesting that someone from London should be commenting on this story.
It is laughable that you compare this violent extremist with Nelson Mandella. Mandella never set fire to anything; he extolled the virtues of peaceful protest and was inprisoned for simply verbalising his views. There is no comparison on any level.
Interesting that someone from London should be commenting on this story. It is laughable that you compare this violent extremist with Nelson Mandella. Mandella never set fire to anything; he extolled the virtues of peaceful protest and was inprisoned for simply verbalising his views. There is no comparison on any level. Berty
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Sun 25 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty, you are mistaken re Mandela, have a search for 'Umkhonto we Sizwe'.

Throughout history people have been forced to take illegal actions on behalf of those oppressed by the State...

this because reasoned arguments, fairness, justice and morality hold no sway with those holding power - and the inequality of power simply leaves no other option.

In fact, it is only because of such actions in the past that we today have the rights we enjoy...and we've all seen how Government ceaselessly tries to erode them.

Good luck to Keith and the other Animal Protection Party candidates, everyone who genuinely cares about fairness, justice and morality should support them.
Berty, you are mistaken re Mandela, have a search for 'Umkhonto we Sizwe'. Throughout history people have been forced to take illegal actions on behalf of those oppressed by the State... this because reasoned arguments, fairness, justice and morality hold no sway with those holding power - and the inequality of power simply leaves no other option. In fact, it is only because of such actions in the past that we today have the rights we enjoy...and we've all seen how Government ceaselessly tries to erode them. Good luck to Keith and the other Animal Protection Party candidates, everyone who genuinely cares about fairness, justice and morality should support them. AR2048
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Sun 25 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Sophia, you are confusing law and morality. Eg, apartheid was legal...just because something is legal does not mean it is, therefore, morally right.

Those who support ruthlessly exploiting, harming, maiming and killing animals for food, experiments and entertainment are the 'fascists' -

they believe in supremacist ideology...that humans are superior and that (self-proclaimed) superiority therefore 'justifies' the utterly immoral treatment of non-human sentient individuals.

It is Animal Rights campaigners who reject such supremacist ideology, everyone who rejects superior/inferior ideology should support them.
Sophia, you are confusing law and morality. Eg, apartheid was legal...just because something is legal does not mean it is, therefore, morally right. Those who support ruthlessly exploiting, harming, maiming and killing animals for food, experiments and entertainment are the 'fascists' - they believe in supremacist ideology...that humans are superior and that (self-proclaimed) superiority therefore 'justifies' the utterly immoral treatment of non-human sentient individuals. It is Animal Rights campaigners who reject such supremacist ideology, everyone who rejects superior/inferior ideology should support them. AR2048
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Sun 25 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Poor 'Shacwatch', they never have any reasoned arguments.
Poor 'Shacwatch', they never have any reasoned arguments. AR2048
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Sun 25 Apr 10

Berty says...

AR2048, whoever you are, I am not wrong about Mandella. I have studied him in depth, and while his activities were seen as illegalby the barbaric government, he committed NO violence and in fact always spoke out against individuals who did.
You have said about these arsonists (Animal Rights Fanatics)
"everyone who genuinely cares about fairness, justice and morality should support them"

I do hope you can see how ridiculous that statement is. As a membr of Amnesty International I would assert that this description is better suited to them, and not to those who attempt to force their way through violent protest, bullying, intimidation and murder.
AR2048, whoever you are, I am not wrong about Mandella. I have studied him in depth, and while his activities were seen as illegalby the barbaric government, he committed NO violence and in fact always spoke out against individuals who did. You have said about these arsonists (Animal Rights Fanatics) "everyone who genuinely cares about fairness, justice and morality should support them" I do hope you can see how ridiculous that statement is. As a membr of Amnesty International I would assert that this description is better suited to them, and not to those who attempt to force their way through violent protest, bullying, intimidation and murder. Berty
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Sun 25 Apr 10

Berty says...

Oh, and I just googled Shacwatch, having never heard of it. LOL! You think we're part of it?
I've been a member of this forum for years, live in Abingdon, and am interested in local politics. However, I did enjoy looking through the Shacwatch website. Very dramatic.
Oh, and I just googled Shacwatch, having never heard of it. LOL! You think we're part of it? I've been a member of this forum for years, live in Abingdon, and am interested in local politics. However, I did enjoy looking through the Shacwatch website. Very dramatic. Berty
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Sun 25 Apr 10

mrbromhalloxford says...

If we are to condemn a man for using violence against property many years ago then we will be about to have a field day with the drug companies Mr Harris works for. The damage being done by this insidious industry mounts by the day and the promises of cures grow ever distant with each new drug they peddle. I know whose side I am on.
If we are to condemn a man for using violence against property many years ago then we will be about to have a field day with the drug companies Mr Harris works for. The damage being done by this insidious industry mounts by the day and the promises of cures grow ever distant with each new drug they peddle. I know whose side I am on. mrbromhalloxford
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Sun 25 Apr 10

Berty says...

I am on the side of people who suffer from appalling illness and will be helped by these drug companies. I am not naiive, I know there is a dark side, but you will not find Evan Harris committing arson.
You say it is a crime against property, but Fire Fighters DIE putting these fires out.
I have to say that yet again I am not at all surptised by the volume of new posters on this forum. You have the right of free speech, however much that repulses me. Call me cynical, but you would show a different side of your character if someone you knew and loved was suffering from Huntingdon's, Parkinson's or Cancer?
I am on the side of people who suffer from appalling illness and will be helped by these drug companies. I am not naiive, I know there is a dark side, but you will not find Evan Harris committing arson. You say it is a crime against property, but Fire Fighters DIE putting these fires out. I have to say that yet again I am not at all surptised by the volume of new posters on this forum. You have the right of free speech, however much that repulses me. Call me cynical, but you would show a different side of your character if someone you knew and loved was suffering from Huntingdon's, Parkinson's or Cancer? Berty
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Lindylooloo says...

Sophia - Are you aware that 'prescription drugs are the fourth biggest killer in the western world'? and that hospitalisations from serious side effects cost the NHS dearly every year. Would you sooner support that instead of looking towards more relevant medical research and therefore less dangerous to humans? Well done Keith, and others, for having the sense and long term vision to look towards a better future where we would all benefit.
Shacwatch - £100,000 was given to 'researcher's to find out how worms defecate, is that your idea of using 'all the old ladies' donations wisely? Hardly life saving research eh? Look into what is happening more and then you can make an educated comment.
As the saying goes 'There are two types of people that support vivisection, those that have a vested interest or those that do not know enough about it' Its not word for word but its close.
Sophia - Are you aware that 'prescription drugs are the fourth biggest killer in the western world'? and that hospitalisations from serious side effects cost the NHS dearly every year. Would you sooner support that instead of looking towards more relevant medical research and therefore less dangerous to humans? Well done Keith, and others, for having the sense and long term vision to look towards a better future where we would all benefit. Shacwatch - £100,000 was given to 'researcher's to find out how worms defecate, is that your idea of using 'all the old ladies' donations wisely? Hardly life saving research eh? Look into what is happening more and then you can make an educated comment. As the saying goes 'There are two types of people that support vivisection, those that have a vested interest or those that do not know enough about it' Its not word for word but its close. Lindylooloo
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty

Hmmm...perhaps you have studied a different Mandela!

"At the Rivonia trial, Mandela explained : "At the beginning of June 1961...I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force.

It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe...the Government had left us no other choice....

In the 'eighties he again rejected PW Botha's offer of freedom if he renounced violence."

http://www.anc.org.z
a/people/mandela.htm
l


What is ridiculous is the pretence that our treatment of animals - other sentient individuals who too can feel pain and suffer, who too seek to preserve their own lives - is anything other than utterly immoral...it is pure supremacism, pure evil in action.

As I said, anyone who rejects supremacist ideology should support Animal Rights campaigners - that is the logical and morally right thing to do.
Berty Hmmm...perhaps you have studied a different Mandela! "At the Rivonia trial, Mandela explained : "At the beginning of June 1961...I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe...the Government had left us no other choice.... In the 'eighties he again rejected PW Botha's offer of freedom if he renounced violence." http://www.anc.org.z a/people/mandela.htm l What is ridiculous is the pretence that our treatment of animals - other sentient individuals who too can feel pain and suffer, who too seek to preserve their own lives - is anything other than utterly immoral...it is pure supremacism, pure evil in action. As I said, anyone who rejects supremacist ideology should support Animal Rights campaigners - that is the logical and morally right thing to do. AR2048
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty, re 'shacwatch', no I don't think you all part of it -how curious you should say that - I was referring to the post above at 3:01pm on Sat 24 Apr 10.

Glad to hear you did a better job of googling them than you did studying Mandela...

and I'm really not at all suprised that you enjoyed it ;)
Berty, re 'shacwatch', no I don't think you all part of it -how curious you should say that - I was referring to the post above at 3:01pm on Sat 24 Apr 10. Glad to hear you did a better job of googling them than you did studying Mandela... and I'm really not at all suprised that you enjoyed it ;) AR2048
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

Give it a rest AR. Nelson Mandella himself did not take part in any violent action. Semantics. Stop dragging this great hero into your sad little debate.

I AM quite at good at researching, thank you, but even better at reading books and forming my own opinion, based on FACTS. You should look that one up on google and stop bending the truth to marry your arguments.

To congratulate a man for committing a crime when there are peaceful avenues which can be taken is to endorse criminal activity as a valid course of action. THAT is what I object to, not your views.

Your sarcasm is much apprecited by me; I thrive on it. I enjoy research, which is why I googled sacwatch. It is a hilarious little site! Very entertaining.

I myself was a hunt saboteur, I am a vegetarian, but while I am not a pacifist I disagree with the moral judgement of anyone who commits arson as it is a hugely dangerous enterprise.

I also have to say I am enjoying the mental sparring. Thank you.
Give it a rest AR. Nelson Mandella himself did not take part in any violent action. Semantics. Stop dragging this great hero into your sad little debate. I AM quite at good at researching, thank you, but even better at reading books and forming my own opinion, based on FACTS. You should look that one up on google and stop bending the truth to marry your arguments. To congratulate a man for committing a crime when there are peaceful avenues which can be taken is to endorse criminal activity as a valid course of action. THAT is what I object to, not your views. Your sarcasm is much apprecited by me; I thrive on it. I enjoy research, which is why I googled sacwatch. It is a hilarious little site! Very entertaining. I myself was a hunt saboteur, I am a vegetarian, but while I am not a pacifist I disagree with the moral judgement of anyone who commits arson as it is a hugely dangerous enterprise. I also have to say I am enjoying the mental sparring. Thank you. Berty
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty, re your post 8:41pm Sun 25 Apr 10, several members of my family have suffered and died from cancer and heart disease, a close relative suffered several strokes and was left severely disabled -

this despite around 2000 years of experimenting on other species -

our loved-ones are not simply big mice, rats, dogs, cats etc - genetics and evolution prove why experimenting on non-human species for human medical research is utter nonsense.

I urge everyone who genuinely wants scientific, human-relevant medical research to watch the following -

Thursday 29th April, 7pm:
One-hour studio discussion about animal testing with Safer Medicines Trust's Science Director, Dr Margaret Clotworthy.

The discussion will be shown on Sky Channel 200 and online at http://www.justin.tv
/edgemediatv

Topics include drug side effects and new non-animal methods to protect patients from them.

The interview will be followed by a screening of the half-hour film, Safer Medicines, featuring actor Mat Fraser and Tony Benn.
Berty, re your post 8:41pm Sun 25 Apr 10, several members of my family have suffered and died from cancer and heart disease, a close relative suffered several strokes and was left severely disabled - this despite around 2000 years of experimenting on other species - our loved-ones are not simply big mice, rats, dogs, cats etc - genetics and evolution prove why experimenting on non-human species for human medical research is utter nonsense. I urge everyone who genuinely wants scientific, human-relevant medical research to watch the following - Thursday 29th April, 7pm: One-hour studio discussion about animal testing with Safer Medicines Trust's Science Director, Dr Margaret Clotworthy. The discussion will be shown on Sky Channel 200 and online at http://www.justin.tv /edgemediatv Topics include drug side effects and new non-animal methods to protect patients from them. The interview will be followed by a screening of the half-hour film, Safer Medicines, featuring actor Mat Fraser and Tony Benn. AR2048
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

I'm so sorry to hear that, I really am, but without research how can we prevent anyone else going through such torment? My son has several life-threatening illnesses, and I know that the pharmaceutical companies are more interested in selling their "cure" than actually curing the disease.
Sadly, I don't have Sky, as I have better things to do with my time, like reading and making smart comments on website forums.
I'm so sorry to hear that, I really am, but without research how can we prevent anyone else going through such torment? My son has several life-threatening illnesses, and I know that the pharmaceutical companies are more interested in selling their "cure" than actually curing the disease. Sadly, I don't have Sky, as I have better things to do with my time, like reading and making smart comments on website forums. Berty
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty

Mandela co-founded MK! I am sure others are entirely capable of checking the facts re this for themselves if they have any doubt as to what I have said.

They might be interested in also checking re the suffragettes - who too used such illegal actions because, as I said, reasoned arguments, logic, morals, fairness and justice have no sway with those holding power who are interested only in protecting their own interests.

I ask you to consider this - what if your loved-ones, those you care about, were imprisoned inside the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciences or Oxford University, their bodies and minds being systematically destroyed by vivisectors...

wouldn't we see a different side to your character then? Wouldn't you try to save them from such evil, try to save them from such suffering, try to save their lives?
Berty Mandela co-founded MK! I am sure others are entirely capable of checking the facts re this for themselves if they have any doubt as to what I have said. They might be interested in also checking re the suffragettes - who too used such illegal actions because, as I said, reasoned arguments, logic, morals, fairness and justice have no sway with those holding power who are interested only in protecting their own interests. I ask you to consider this - what if your loved-ones, those you care about, were imprisoned inside the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciences or Oxford University, their bodies and minds being systematically destroyed by vivisectors... wouldn't we see a different side to your character then? Wouldn't you try to save them from such evil, try to save them from such suffering, try to save their lives? AR2048
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

No, because they don't do it to humans. I don't like what goes on there, but I would NEVER put MORE life at risk to prove my point.

Nelson Mandella NEVER committed arson, thus endangering the lives of innocent fire-fighters. There is no justifcation for arson. Full blimmin stop.
No, because they don't do it to humans. I don't like what goes on there, but I would NEVER put MORE life at risk to prove my point. Nelson Mandella NEVER committed arson, thus endangering the lives of innocent fire-fighters. There is no justifcation for arson. Full blimmin stop. Berty
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

So are you saying I'm a direct descendent of a guinepig? Gracious!
So are you saying I'm a direct descendent of a guinepig? Gracious! Berty
  • Score: 0

8:34pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty, thank you, appreciate your kind comment x

Those against animal experiments are not against medical research though, we are very much FOR research...but we want scientific, human-relevant research, and tailored medicines...

because, due to tiny, tiny genetic differences between individuals of the same species, a drug which helps one individual can not work, harm or even kill another individual.

We need, our loved-ones need, drugs which are going to help THEM - not the current situation of Russian roulette the drugs companies are playing with our lives.

The broadcast can also be watched online on Thursday 29th April, 7pm here -

http://www.justin.tv
/edgemediatv
Berty, thank you, appreciate your kind comment x Those against animal experiments are not against medical research though, we are very much FOR research...but we want scientific, human-relevant research, and tailored medicines... because, due to tiny, tiny genetic differences between individuals of the same species, a drug which helps one individual can not work, harm or even kill another individual. We need, our loved-ones need, drugs which are going to help THEM - not the current situation of Russian roulette the drugs companies are playing with our lives. The broadcast can also be watched online on Thursday 29th April, 7pm here - http://www.justin.tv /edgemediatv AR2048
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

Fair enough, but where do the Aliens come in?
Fair enough, but where do the Aliens come in? Berty
  • Score: 0

8:42pm Mon 26 Apr 10

AR2048 says...

Berty, apologies I meant to say I am sorry to hear about your son, that must be so very difficult for you all, sending very best wishes x
Berty, apologies I meant to say I am sorry to hear about your son, that must be so very difficult for you all, sending very best wishes x AR2048
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Berty says...

Thank you.
Thank you. Berty
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Mon 26 Apr 10

Leanne best says...

How many more animals will have to die before we figure out they don't hold the cure to our ill? We spend too much time attacking each other and not enough looking at those who are out to do us harm and keep us in the dark (ages).
How many more animals will have to die before we figure out they don't hold the cure to our ill? We spend too much time attacking each other and not enough looking at those who are out to do us harm and keep us in the dark (ages). Leanne best
  • Score: 0

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