SOCPA 7 Make Plea Deal
Fri, 12 September 2014
SHAC may have shut down operations, but a handful of convictions are still working their way through the courts. The SOCPA 7 - a name derived from the Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act under which they were likely to have been charged had they been tried altogether - are seven animal rights activists on trial for actions taken in 2011-12
Last week, six of the activists pled guilty to a variety of charges, with the last activist - Steven Parker - having his charges dropped.
Debbie Vincent, who was recently sentenced to six years for separate offences, and Lorna Potter submitted a guilty plea to violations of s.145 of SOCPA, 2005 - Interference with contractual relationships so as to harm an animal research organisation. This has a maxim penalty of five years in jail. Alexis Bathory and Emily Hepburn made a guilty plea to s. 5 of the Public Order Act, 1986, for "Harassment, Alarm of Distress" at demonstrations. While this is unlikely to result in a jail sentence, it could carry large fines. Emma Phipps and Anton Gijsen pled guilty to Aggravated Tresspass. This has a maximum penalty of 3 months.
Sentencing will take place on 10th October, and we will provide more information when it becomes available.