chicken run | 

Animal rights activists to be cautioned by police over protest at Co Down farm

The defendants had been accused of trespassing at Gartross Poultry Farm in Donaghcloney in July 2021

Tuesday Goti© Liam McBurney

Naomi Finlay

Lesley-Ann Armstrong

Paul HigginsSunday Life

Seven animal rights activists are to be given formal police cautions over an illegal protest at a Co Down chicken farm.

They were set to contest the charge at Craigavon Magistrates Court on Thursday, but instead, a prosecuting lawyer confirmed the outcome.

The defendants had been accused of trespassing at Gartross Poultry Farm in Donaghcloney in July 2021.

Previous hearings were told the charge related to a “protest concerning animal rights activists”.

The seven are: Tuesday Sophia Goti (36), from Wesley Street in Lisburn; Naomi Finlay (28), also from Wesley Street in Lisburn; Lesley-Ann Armstrong (39), from Annagh Meadows in Portadown; Danny Donaldson (31) from Seagrove Parade in Belfast; Tiffany Donaldson (32), also Seagrove Parade; Bethany Lloyd (25), from Moneybrook Road in Shropshire and Fiona Walsh (43), from Barleyfields in Londonderry.

This is the second time Goti and Finlay have faced criminal charges together.

Last year Goti was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, while Finlay got a 12-month conditional discharge after the pair burgled a different chicken farm and Goti took some of the birds home.

In July 2021 a farmer in Kells contacted police after being made aware of a video circulating on social media which showed a woman entering an outbuilding and lifting three chickens.

When PSNI officers arrived at Goti’s house, they found the chickens alive and well in her bedroom.

She refused to answer police questions during interviews but later pleaded guilty to burglary.

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