Raid on illegal eggs stash led officers to accused Scot’s home
A RAID on a house in England which contained thousands of bird eggs led police to a box bearing the name and address of an Inverness man accused of illegally trading eggs, a court has heard.
Wildlife officers found a huge collection of eggs together with books, paperwork and packaging when they searched the property in Co Durham.
Among the items were two packages bearing the same Inverness postcode, one of which also stated the sender’s name as K Liddell.
The evidence was heard at the opening of the trial of Keith Liddell, 51, from Inverness, who faces a total of 16 charges alleging he broke the regulations covering endangered species.
Thirteen charges are contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations 1997, relating to allegations that Liddell was involved in the illegal trade in birds’ eggs.
Three charges have been brought under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, two relating to allegations that he was in unlawful possession of 338 birds’ eggs, including a number of rare breeding species such as osprey, peregrine falcon, black-throated diver, Slavonian and black-necked grebes.
The remaining charge relates to an allegation that Liddell, of Holm Dell Drive, was in possession of a range of items for keeping and trading birds’ eggs.
Specifically, Liddell denies purchasing, offering to purchase, keep for sale or transport for sale, all for commercial gain, 202 eggs from a number of endangered species, including Egyptian vulture, tawny owl, kestrel, rough-legged buzzard and red kite over a period from August 2004 to June 2009. He also denies being in possession of 136 eggs of wild birds at his home on 24 June, 2009.
The court yesterday heard from Durham police constable Vincent Marriner, who was part of a team that searched a house in Crook, Co Durham, in February, 2009. He told Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood that his job was to note the items seized from the house.
Questioned by specialist wildlife and environmental crime unit fiscal Kate Fleming, he said the house contained thousands of eggs, stored in drawer chests, cabinets and boxes, as well as books, paperwork relating to egg collections, boxes and other packaging.
PC Marriner confirmed that one box addressed to that house had a sender’s label stating it had come from an Inverness post code. A second box had a similar label with the same postcode and the name K Liddell, the court heard. About 30 witnesses have been cited for the trial, which continues today.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east