Mandy in Camden | 22.02.2009From Heather Nicholson, VM 4859, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Ashford, Middx, TW15 3JZ
My conscience is more than clear & I am extremely proud of everything that I have helped to achieve over the years. I am proud that I didn't sit back & cry in my armchair about how awful animal cruelty is but actually tried to change things & I made a stand against cruelty & oppression. I said in court to the jury that in time people would look back in horror at this trial & say "was it really legal to do that to animals & did they really put people in prison for trying to stop it?
We were very unlucky to have such a cold, heartless, callous jury who clearly didn't care about people or animals. some were seen giggling & sniggering with the police while barristers were making their closing speeches. I will never understand how they could sit and watch puppies being punched in the face and then find any of us guilty.
when i gave evidence i asked the jury if they would object, complain or intervene if someone dragged a dog into court & started punching her and, if they would, then perhaps they should be stood in the dock with me! i wonder if they are all happy now in the knowledge that WE are initial and not a single person in the courtroom ( apart from us and some supporters in the public gallery) would ever speak out or take action to stop the atrocities occurring inside HLS. Clearly no-one on the jury would have lifted a finger to help any animal (or person) in danger. Watching the New York airplane's emergency landing in the Hudson river, I thought it was wonderful to see the ferries rushing to help save the passengers, throwing life jackets -and then hearing the survivors speaking so emotionally about their frightening experience and expressing their deep gratitude to the brave pilot and the people who didn't hesitate to help them. we all hope, pray and sometimes expect to be save when we are in danger.
It breaks my heart that so many people in the world and
billions of animals can scream and struggle and plead, and
no-one comes to their rescue. I can't bear it. to rescue is at
the heart of my being and that is all that I have ever wanted to
do. It is my motivation for campaigning against cruelty. all of
you who have carried on the SHAC campaign ( and others) - you
have my utmost respect and admiration . Thank you.
The support for all of us in here from other prisoners and officers continues to be amazing. They too are bemused and angry at the verdict. They express to us their feelings of outrage at the injustice of the convictions and the sentences. i always said that I would not be devastated if found guilty ( I'm not) and wouldn't be celebrating if found not guilty. The only losers are the animals at HLS and they are still suffering. The sentences passed down to us were a victory for sadism, greed and cowardice. The compassionate and brave have lost their freedom ........for now.!!!
I am enormously proud and in awe of the activists that i stood side by side with in court - Gregg, Natasha, Gavin, Dan Amos, dan Wadham and Gerrah. They are all exceptional, selfless people and have all conducted themselves with greta courage and dignity throughout this whole circus. I will never forget Gavin and Dan Wadham's evidence in the witness box. They were superb.
sometimes I feel like I am living on the wrong plane because for me it is natural to run to the aid of others and to speak out when something is wrong and here i am imprisoned for 11 years. it is ingrained in me to be kind, it always has been and always will be and it is baffling to me that others can be so cruel. i will never understand it as long as i live. all I can do is try and stop it.
The prison sniffer dogs have just been around and have
made my day. i sat on the floor cuddling sam ( looks like my
Laddie) and tears were pouring down my face. those dogs filled
me with such energy and strength and warmth and love.
Please don't ever stop fighting for the abused animals.
My time in here hasn't been wasted because, in case you haven't heard, we have managed to have all the budgies and cockatiels here sent to a sanctuary and good homes. Bronzefield is now animal-free - as it should be. I am also doing my best to help as many troubled people in here as I can and gaining diplomas in animal care/health and veterinary nursing and will come out of prison a greatly improved and more knowledgeable person.
I want to thank you again so much for your support. It means the world to me.
Lots of love,
"Never, never be afraid to do what is right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way". (Martin Luther King)
Mandy in Camden