Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 18:29 UK

Man jailed for trading tortoises

A man who admitted illegally trading tortoises has been jailed for eight months at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

David Neville Johnson, 21, of Captains Meadow in The Rock, Telford, was caught trying to sell nearly 200 endangered tortoises, West Mercia Police said.

Among the animals he tried to sell was the Spur-thighed tortoise, which is listed as vulnerable to extinction.

Police said he had also received a three-year ban from keeping any critically-endangered animal.

'Financial gain'

Johnson was convicted of one offence of using a false document to obtain a permit, six offences of illegally selling an endangered species and one offence of illegally purchasing endangered species.

He pleaded guilty to all the charges at Telford Magistrates Court on 23 March.

Robert Edwards, Shrewsbury Crown Advocate, said: "The law on endangered species seeks to protect and conserve creatures and habitats for the benefit of the environment.

"David Johnson illegally traded in endangered tortoises for financial gain and continued to do so after being arrested.

"I hope the fact that we have sought and won an order preventing him from continuing with his activities will serve as a warning to others."

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