A protester from Crossways who waged a five-year campaign of blackmail and terror on people connected with animal research companies across many parts of England has been jailed for eight months.

Deborah Morrison, 35, of Egdon Glenn, pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court to six charges of blackmail, three of interference with intention to cause harm to animal research, two attempted interference and one attempted blackmail between January 2001 and October 2006.

Two blackmail charges involved the company of David Hall, the son-in-law of 84-year-old Gladys Hammond, whose remains were taken from her grave at St Peter's Church, Yoxall near Lichfield, in October 2004.

Her remains were recovered early in October 2006 after Mr Hall decided to close his Darley Oaks guinea pig-breeding business at Newchurch near Lichfield.

Judge Simon Tonking told Morrison: "It is plain you were acting on your own in isolation and you were not a member of an animal rights organisation.

"But the fact is that for a period of five years you sent a variety of threatening letters and emails to 11 separate people involved in providing services for businesses involved in scientific research in which animals were used.

"They were innocent people. Your threats were reinforced by sending white powder in envelopes which, in fact, was harmless.

Your intention, quite plainly, was that they take them as something more sinister. They were told the expect a visit from a car bomb and death threats were taken to be just that.

"You were beligerent and ruthless and intended to change the ways families lived. Through no fault of your own you have psychiatric problems."

Peter Grice, prosecuting, said John Goodyear, a vet who treated domestic animals at the Darley Oaks business, got two letters and was told to stop doing that business with animal killers. You have been warned'. Mr Grice said white powder in one letter turned out to be starch.

Isabella Forshaw, defending, said: "She must be given full credit for her pleas made in truly daunting circumstances.

"She is a very vulnerable person. She has had a very restricted and very, very abnormal pattern of life."

Head of the Public Order and Protest Unit for Staffordshire Police Inspector David Bird said: "Morrison carried out a widespread campaign of intimidation over several years. She sought to cause financial loss to companies engaged in lawful business, and caused genuine fear for dozens of staff and their families."