Two convicted of stealing eggs after two-year operation
Two men have been convicted of stealing bird’s eggs and connected offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act after a two-year operation.
Marcus Betteridge, 52 years from Jubilee Road in Totnes was fined £1,000 after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of warbler eggs.
Seymour Crang, 49 years from Bittaford, near Ivybridge was fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of wild bird’s eggs.
Both men were ordered to pay £200 costs.
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The convictions follow a two-year operation between the Police, RSPB and the National Wildlife Crime Unit under an operation codenamed Blackwell.
Joint intelligence gathering and partnership working culminated in the execution of search warrants in November 2010 at the home addresses of both Betteridge and Crang, when property relating to the charges was seized, including wild bird eggs, collecting equipment, photographs and diaries relating to activities at nest sites of wild birds.
Following further investigation by the three agencies, sufficient evidence was gathered to interview and subsequently charge both men.
The officer in case, Police Constable Josh Marshall, a Wildlife Crime officer commented after the hearing, “This prosecution and sentencing today highlights the benefits of joint partnership working in tackling wildlife crime and the determination to bring offenders to justice.
“This should send a clear message to persons engaged in such criminal activity that they will be identified and brought to justice”.
Both appeared at Newton Abbot Magistrates Court today.