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article imageMan sentenced to 30 months for egg smuggling attempt

By Lynn Curwin     Aug 19, 2010 in Crime
Warwick - A man was sentenced to 30 months in prison after admitting attempting to smuggle peregrine falcon eggs out of the UK. He was caught with 14 eggs which were valued at £70,000 on the black market.
Jeffrey Lendrum, 48, from York Close, Towcester, Northamptonshire was arrested at Birmingham Airport while waiting for a flight to Dubai on 3 May.
BBC News reported that a cleaner contacted counter-terrorism police after he noticed Lendrum entering the shower of the Emirates' business class lounge several times, and noting the shower was dry.
The former member of the Rhodesian SAS was then checked and eggs, which had been stolen from a nest in south Wales, were found wrapped and taped to his chest.
He first told officials they were chicken eggs he had bought at Waitrose, then tried to claim he used eggs to treat his bad back.
He also had thousands of pounds in cash with him.
When he appeared in Warwick Crown Court, Lendrum admitted to stealing the eggs and trying to export them.
"These were eggs you had removed from the wild in Wales and you would have reduced the number of these high-level endangered species in the wild, birds which enhance the attraction of the countryside to all,” BBC News quoted Judge Christopher Hodson as saying.
"I quote the words of a Lord Justice of Appeal (Lord Justice Sedley) when he says, 'environmental crime, if established, strikes not only at a locality and its population but in some measure to the planet and its future'.
"'Nobody should be allowed to doubt its seriousness or to forget that one side of the environmental story is always untold.'
"I adopt these words to express the gravity of what you did."
Eleven of the eggs were able to be hatched later and the chicks were released in to the wild.
Lendrum had previously been convicted of stealing rare eggs in Zimbabwe and Canada. He had gone to such lengths as abseiling off a cliff and lowering himself from a helicopter to reach them.
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