The Countryside Alliance has condemned a group of animal rights activists who threatened a 75-year-old woman, apparently for having one of their stickers displayed on her car.

Natasha Avery, 38, Heather Nicholson, 37, and Daniel Wadham, 19, pleaded guilty to affray at Kingston Crown Court last week.

The court heard that in November last year they saw the sticker, got out of their car and banged on the back window. They shouted at the woman and her 21-year-old grandson, who the court ordered should not be named, as they were stuck at traffic lights in Richmond.

The panicking pair drove off when the lights turned green but were pursued by the trio, who caught up with them in Twickenham Road and continued the attack. The court heard how they shouted abuse at the pair and then attempted to pull the grandson out of the window.

The trio denied spitting at or hitting the 75-year-old victim.

It was only the actions of other motorists confronting the three activists which ended the verbal assault.

Police arrived shortly after and they were arrested.

A spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance said she had spoken to the family on the day of the attack and said they were extremely shaken by the unprovoked outburst.

She added: "We have always maintained animal rights activists are more about hating people than helping animals.

"It is completely contemptible to attack innocent people like this. I don't think anybody should expect to be attacked while sitting in their car."

Avery and Nicholson are the wife and ex-wife of Greg Avery, founder of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.

All three were released on bail and will be sentenced in the next few weeks.

This week the Countryside Alliance said it would apply for its case against the ban on hunting to be heard in the House of Lords.

The Appeal Court last week rejected its claim that the ban was in contravention of the Human Rights Act and European law.