Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 18:42 UK

County Durham man guilty of trading rare eggs

Andrew Seed
Mr Seed's barrister said he wasn't involved commercially

A man who collected, smuggled and traded hundreds of rare birds eggs has been given a suspended sentence.

Police raided the home of Andrew Seed, 45, in Low Willington, near Crook in County Durham, in February 2009.

More than 2,000 eggs were found including golden eagle, red kite, osprey and peregrine falcon eggs.

Seed admitted more than 40 offences at Durham Crown Court on Thursday. He was given a nine month sentence, suspended for two years.

His home was raided as part of an investigation by Durham Police, the RSPB and the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

He pleaded guilty to 17 offences including illegal importation, trading and possession of birds eggs and collecting equipment.

Nick Cartmel, Mr Seed's barrister, said: "Andrew's involvement was simply in obtaining eggs for his private collection. He wasn't involved commercially.

"He's pleaded guilty and acknowledged what he's done wrong.

"When he started collecting, this wasn't a criminal offence. It's something he's inherited from his father and grandfather. It's not an activity he intends to indulge in again."

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