Animal rights campaigner Mel Broughton has been given a ten-year jail sentence after being found guilty of plotting arson attacks against Oxford University buildings.

A jury at Oxford Crown Court convicted the 50-year-old, from Northampton, of conspiracy to commit arson.

He was also found guilty of owning an article with intent to destroy property.

Judge Patrick Eccles QC passed a 10-year sentence, to be reduced by the two and a half years Broughton has already spent in custody.

Broughton was originally convicted of the offences by a jury in February 2009, and successfully appealed his conviction in February this year. The Court of Appeal ordered that he should face a retrial, where he has been found guilty for a second time.

The campaigner, who spearheaded animal welfare group Speak, was protesting about plans to build an animal research laboratory in Oxford, backed by the university, when he made homemade bombs out of water bottles and sparklers.

One of them, placed on the roof of Queen’s College cricket pavilion in November 2006, ignited and caused nearly £14,000 damage to the building. A further two were planted at Templeton College in February 2007 but failed to go off.

A University of Oxford spokesperson said: “The University has always accepted the rights of protesters to voice their objections within the law.

“However, we will continue to work with all relevant authorities to protect staff and students from criminal activity of any kind.”