Trial extended and ADI investigators called ‘extremists’ by defence team
At today’s pre-trial hearing at Corby Magistrates Court, Northants, it was agreed to allocate an entire week to the court proceedings in June, representing a three day extension from the original dates. The legal team of circus owners Bobby and Moira Roberts were also rebuked by both the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Magistrate for referring to ADI investigators as ‘extremists’.
The trial will now take place from the 18th to 22nd June, with the next case management review to take place on the 4th May at Wellingborough.
Jan Creamer, ADI’s Chief Executive said: “We are pleased that a full week has now been allocated to this case, which will be the first trial of a circus under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The additional time will enable thorough evaluation of all the evidence and provide the platform for a fair trial.
“It is a pity the defence team has reduced itself to name-calling and unfounded allegations to smear the reputation of ADI investigators, whose evidence has been used by courts and governments around the world. Clearly they are lacking an actual defence.
“ADI is a globally respected animal protection organisation that provides technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in the circus industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport”.
Bobby and Moira Roberts, owners of Bobby Roberts Super Circus, are charged with offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to the mistreatment of Anne an elephant originally removed from the wild and sold to the circus in the 1950s. ADI had assembled a private prosecution based on video evidence they filmed at the circus winter quarters. The CPS is now taking the case forward.
ADI will be watching with interest to see how the legislation will be interpreted and enforced.