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Vegan prisoner given non-leather work boots

NewsID:177    Datetime:2011-01-04

 

A vegan prisoner labelled an 'urban terrorist' by a judge has been handed a free pair of non-leather work boots so she can work on a prison farm growing organic vegetables.
8:39AM GMT 12 Jan 2010
Animal rights campaigner Natasha Avery also has a range of ethical 'make-up, body care and hygiene products', allowing her to live a 'complete vegan lifestyle' in her cell.
 
Avery, 40, was jailed for nine years after admitting a campaign of intimidation and hate against thousands of families across the UK.
 
She and husband Greg - the masterminds behind Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) - were both jailed in January last year at Winchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to blackmail.
Five other 'associates' were also jailed by Mr Justice Butterfield for what he described as a campaign of hate which brought a 'living hell' to victims.
 
The gang targeted thousands of people associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), which carries out animal testing for medical research, in a bid to close the firm down.
 
The court heard how they sent letters to friends and neighbours of people working for various firms which supplied HLS, branding them paedophiles and sending hoax bombs and items claiming to be contaminated with HIV.
 
They also poured paint stripper on victim's cars and daubed 'Puppy killer' and 'Murderer' in graffiti outside their homes.
 
But, only one year into her nine year term - reduced from 14 for an early guilty plea - Avery is now 'nice and cosy' in her cell at HMP Send in Surrey with non-leather boots to wear on the prison farm.
 
She also has access to a range of bodycare products - including soaps, lipsticks, body cleansers and face packs.
 
In a letter, she said she has "everything she needs" to live a "complete vegan lifestyle" in the prison.
 
"I have been at HMP Send for six months now and nominated the Head of Diversity, Jackie Gourley for one of Vegan Prisoners Support Group Awards because of her excellent help and support on vegan issues," she wrote.
 
She goes on to say: "I was able to see her in the first few days after I arrived and immediately was greeted in a friendly and approachable manner.
 
"Shortly after our meeting she made arrangements for me to be able to order from the recently approved mail order company Honesty who supply vegan bodycare/hygiene products as well as make-up items.
 
"The cleaning products this company stock is so vital in order for me to be able to keep my cell clean."
 
She added: "She also made arrangements for non leather work boots to be provided for me in the gardens and my Holland and Barrett order."
 
The Prison Service said: "We cover vegan, vegetarian and other diets.
 
"If prisoners don't behave, their privileges are withdrawn."
 
 
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