BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
'Prolific' egg thief jailed
Rare birds eggs that were seized from D'Cruze's home
D'Cruze admitted taking more than 400 eggs
A rare bird egg thief described as "a serious threat to British wildlife" has been jailed for six months.

More than 450 eggs were seized by police and bird protection experts who raided Carlton D'Cruze's Merseyside home.

D'Cruze - one of the UK's most prolific egg thieves - was given the longest sentence ever passed for offences of this nature.


You were well aware of what you were doing and the likely impact on wildlife

Magistrates' chair Val Jarvis

Officials from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said the egg seizure was one of the most important in the last 20 years.

South Sefton Magistrates' Court in Merseyside heard on Wednesday D'Cruze went after rare birds' nests such as the osprey, chough and white-tailed eagle.

At an earlier hearing in July, he admitted taking clutches of marsh harrier, avocet and little tern eggs from Norfolk in May 2000 and Cumbria in May and June 2001.

The unemployed father-of-two also admitted possessing 453 eggs, from species including the peregrine falcon and the golden eagle, and 29 dead birds.

Carlton Julian D'Cruze arrives for sentencing
D'Cruze went after rare birds' nests such as the osprey and chough

The eggs were taken over a 15-year period from locations across England, Wales and Scotland, including Cumbria, Norfolk, Lancashire, Merseyside and the West Midlands.

D'Cruze was convicted under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, after the raid at his home in Whitemeadow Drive, Thornton, on 12 March this year.

Egg raids also took place in the Welsh counties of Gwynedd, Powys and Dyfed and at Scottish nesting sites on Mull, in the Cairngorms, the Highlands, Orkney, Grampian and Tayside.

Impact on wildlife

Passing sentence, chairwoman of the bench Mrs Val Jarvis said: "For the offences in respect of which you have pleaded guilty, we are imposing a custodial sentence.

"The offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.

"You were well aware of what you were doing and the likely impact on wildlife."

Merseyside Police's wildlife liaison officer welcomed the sentence, saying it sent out a clear message that society no longer accepted such behaviour.


Click here to go to Liverpool

Click here to go to Norfolk
See also:

29 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
20 Sep 99 | UK
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes