JUDGES have rejected an appeal by two animal rights protestors who attacked the home of the brother of the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Student Gillian Bradley and teacher Jonathan Ablewhite, with an accomplice, caused £2,000-worth of damage by throwing stones and paint at the Northallerton, North Yorkshire, home of 72-year-old Leonard Cass and his wife, Eileen.

The attack in November 2001 happened at the start of a trial of other activists at which Huntingdon Life Sciences managing director Brian Cass was to give evidence, London's Court of Appeal heard.

Bradley, 29, and Ablewhite, 33, both of Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, both pleaded guilty at Basildon Crown Court to causing criminal damage and, on December 6, were sentenced to nine months in jail.

Both of them believed the maximum sentence they could have received was three months because the damage they caused was less than £6,000.

But Sir Ian Kennedy, sitting with Lord Justice Rix and Mr Justice Mitchell, said that a Crown Court Judge had been in the best position to assess the degree of the pair's criminality and that their jail terms were justified.

Bradley and Ablewhite have now both been released on electronic tagging.

At the end of the hearing they said they were both still members of the animal rights movement and would still take part in legal demonstrations.