Egg collecting/disturbance convictions

Marcus Betteridge and Seymour Crang appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates court yesterday and pleaded guilty to the following

Betteridge - Intentional disturbance of a schedule 1 species (Dartford Warbler)

Crang - Possession of wild bird eggs (15)

Originally the Crown Prosecution service (CPS)  had agreed to charge Betteridge with a further 4 counts of disturbance of schedule 1, these included Peregrine Falcon and Woodlark. However CPS agreed to a plea from Betteridge and the other 4 were dropped! 2 years worth of work went into this from myself and RSPB investigations, disappointed with them being dropped to say the least...

The diaries stretched back a number of years. We were only able to deal with offences that stretched back 2 years from the date of finding the diaries as the offences mentioned have what is called a time limit upon them. This prevented us from  investigating any entries dated later than this.

I was pleased that the court did not except the basis of Crangs plea. This being that he had held to to eggs from a previous raid at a property in 1999. We provided evidence to the contrary.

Although other charges were dropped I was pleased with the sentence handed down from the Magistrates. Both were fined £1,250 for the separate charges.

I would like to thank the RSPB investigation team for all their incredible work in this case, they are worth the RSPB subscription on their own!

I will over the next few days place a full item on my blog with further background info on the case.

This whole incident should emphasise the caution needed with posting sighting of schedule 1 birds on this blog...

Here is a national newspaper story in relation to the court case

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228904/Obsessional-thieves-guilty-stealing-hundreds-birds-eggs-year-undercover-operation.html

And the Westcountry News peice on the case, with footage of Betteridge and Crang

http://vimeo.com/52947306

 

 

 

Posted November 7th, 2012 at 8:48 am by Josh Marshall in Bird News