A CROSSWAYS woman who made people fear for their lives in a prolonged hate campaign has had her sentence tripled at the Court of Appeal.

Animal activist Deborah Morrison, 35, sent death threats and letters containing white powder to her victims, who had connections to the animal research industry.

The powder, which turned out to be harmless, made some victims fear they had been poisoned, the court in London heard.

In October Morrison, of Egdon Glen, Crossways, Dorchester, had pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court to six counts of blackmail, one of attempted blackmail and five counts of interference with a contractual relationship.

She was sentenced to eight months in prison on November 16 last year.

But yesterday the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, challenged that sentence on the grounds that it was 'unduly lenient'.

Lord Justice Tuckey told the court that Morrison targeted the chief executive of a bank which had dealings with an animal research company, sending a letter saying: 'Stop investing in Huntingdon Life Sciences or you will die.' On another occasion she sent a vet in Burton-on-Trent, who provided services for a business which bred guinea pigs for research, Darley Oaks Farm, Newchurch, Staffordshire, a letter with white powder which warned: 'Stop doing business with animal killers.' The judge said the letter caused 'fear and panic'.

Morrison, described as a 'vulnerable' woman who suffered psychiatric problems, sent the threatening emails and letters over a period of five years.

She pleaded guilty to six charges of blackmail and one of attempted blackmail.

She also admitted three charges of interference with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation and two charges of attempting to interfere with a contractual relationship.

Although she was acting alone, she deliberately gave the impression she was working on behalf of an organised group of animal extremists, signing her letters ALF to make them think she was with the Animal Liberation Front.

The judge said: "It is necessary for the courts to make clear the seriousness of these offences and to impose substantial sentences to act as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to behave in the same way."

In reaching the sentence of two years, the court was taking into account the seriousness of the offences, but also powerful personal mitigation, the early guilty pleas and the fact that Morrison was being sentenced for the second time.