A 63-YEAR-OLD man has become the first person to be charged with breaching an injunction protecting a planned Oxford University research laboratory at the centre of an animal rights furore, police have said.

Adrian Appley, from Bromley, south east London, will appear at Oxford Magistrates' Court today accused of breaching the injunction and of harassment.

It is alleged that Appley photographed workers at the building site in South Parks Road in December.

Staff and workers at the university's biomedical research facility are protected by a High Court injunction, which bans intimidation or acts of violence by animal rights activists. It also restricts the use of camera equipment within the existing exclusion area.

Last month 16-year-old Laurie Pycroft, from Swindon, led 800 people, including some eminent scientists, in a march to support the building of the new research centre.

Laurie, pictured, who wants to be a neurosurgeon, founded the Pro-Test group to speak up in favour of scientific research.

He has received 30 death threats by email since making his public stance on the issue.

But he has now also received thousands of messages of support from the public and scientists supporting his stand against animal rights activists.