Villagers living near a Staffordshire farm which breeds guinea pigs for medical research have failed in their High Court attempt to ban animal rights activists from a 77 square-mile zone around their homes.
But Mr Justice Owen, who heard their case, said the activists were conducting a "guerrilla campaign of terrorism" and warned that the exclusion zone would be imposed if they failed to obey court orders already in place to regulate their protests.
At a hearing in London two months ago, lawyers for the owners of Darley Oaks Farm at Newchurch and their families, employees and neighbours urged Mr Justice Owen to impose the no-go zone around seven parishes whose 3,830 households were at risk from the activities of extremists.
The judge was told by solicitor advocate Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden: " Everyone wants lawful protest to occur under controlled terms, but they want unlawful protest to stop."
The court action, headed by Christopher and John Hall, was brought under the Protection from Harassment Act.
They were backed by local parish councillor Peter Clamp who argued he had the right to represent people living in his parish of Newborough and the nearby parishes of Yoxall, Barton- under- Needwood, Hanbury, Tatenhill, Draycott and Hoar Cross, all west of Burton upon Trent.
The defendants named in the action included SNGP (Save Newchurch Guinea Pigs), Shac (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), Speak (Campaigns), the Alf (Animal Liberation Front) and various individuals.
Some of them agreed to their protests outside the farm entrance being limited in time, frequency and the number of demonstrators, but they successfully contested Mr Clamp's right to act as the voice of the local people.
The judge also heard evidence of firebomb attacks, smear campaigns, and the cutting of electricity and phone lines. Giving judgment, the judge said other targets included the local golf club and ten public houses, the aim being to prevent their use by the Hall family.
Marstons brewery, landlords of the Red Lion at Newborough, were threatened with intimidation, as were the farm's contractors and suppliers.
The Halls' employees and their families had been subjected to "sustained intimidation and harassment," he said. Their workforce was now reduced to two.
May Hudson, a widow in her 60s who worked as Christopher Hall's housekeeper until January this year, had bricks thrown through her windows and was the target of paint bombs, hoax bombs and a threat to desecrate her husband's grave.
Nicholas Sanders, a Darley Oaks farm worker, received death threats. His neighbours received malicious mail alleging his partner carried a sexually transmitted disease.
The wider community had been affected by the protesters' use of fireworks, megaphones and large-scale graffiti.
He said the activities, usually taking place at night over a wide area and aimed at a wide range of targets, could be described as a "guerrilla campaign".
Disallowing Mr Clamp's attempt to act for the parishes, the judge said he had failed so far to obtain formal letters of authority and mandates from the parish councils.
He said the wide exclusion zone sought by the claimants would be "draconian", but he would not hesitate to impose it if necessary.
At present, he believed the claimants would be adequately protected by injunctions already in force.
The injunctions ban the defendants from assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or otherwise interfering with individuals named as "protected persons".
Demonstrations are limited to 25 individuals between 12pm and 3pm.
Following the hearing, Staffordshire Police welcomed the judge's decision to maintain the injunction granted in December last year.