From Raptor Persecution UK
9th Jan 2019
The name Jeffrey Lendrum will be familiar to many blog readers. He’s the criminal who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison in 2010 when he was caught trying to smuggle peregrine eggs (stuffed inside socks taped to his stomach) out of Birmingham airport enroute to the Middle East (see here). Lendrum had stolen the eggs from nest sites in Wales and investigators believe he had collected them to order for an Arab falconer in Dubai.
Prior to that 2010 conviction, Lendrum had been found guilty of similar offences involving stolen falcon eggs from nests in Zimbabwe (1984) and Canada (2002).
In 2016, Lendrum was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail in Brazil after being caught in possession of rare falcon eggs at Sao Paulo airport, enroute from Chile to Dubai (see here). However, in 2017 it was reported (here) that he was appealing his sentence and the Brazilian authorities released him on bail pending that appeal. Lendrum subsequently disappeared.
In June 2018 Lendrum was caught at Heathrow airport wearing a body belt that contained 19 eggs of various raptor species from South Africa (here). He initially pleaded not guilty which led to his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday.
Lendrum eventually pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to four charges of Evasion of a Restriction contrary to the Customs and Excise Management Act. He was remanded in custody and sentencing is expected today (Wednesday).
Coverage of this story can be found in the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
We’re interested in the legislation under which Lendrum was charged and convicted. Clearly not any wildlife-specific legislation and also clearly quite serious as his trial took place in the Crown Court rather than a lower Magistrates Court. This looks like a creative approach to tackling someone who commits serial wildlife crimes – good work by the UK Border Force and the National Crime Agency.
The judge reportedly warned Lendrum yesterday that he faced a lengthy jail term. Although according to this fascinating article written by Joshua Hammer, who has been researching Lendrum for a proposed biography, Lendrum is suffering from cancer and his ill health may well be used in mitigation to influence the severity of his sentence. We’ll see.
[Jeffrey Lendrum at court in 2010, photo by Express Papers]
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