Man Could Face Jail After Taking Rare Bird Eggs

12 October 2018, 14:21 | Updated: 12 October 2018, 14:28


A 65 year old man from Norfolk - who illegally collected more than 5,000 rare bird eggs, has been warned he could face jail.

Daniel Lingham, of Newton Park Homes in Newton St Faith, was reported to police after someone saw him picking eggs up off the ground at Cawston Heath, dressed "head-to-toe in camouflage gear".

Officers, who stopp searched him in May, found he had a catapult and tree climbing spikes with him and told them: "I've been a silly man, haven't I?"

During a search of his home address, police found tubs containing eggs under his bed and in the kitchen and living room, with many of them handwritten on.

A total of 5,266 eggs were discovered of species including nightingales, nightjars, turtle doves, chiffchaffs, little-ringed plovers, woodlarks and kingfishers.

Lingham admitted five offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

He was convicted of similar offences in 2005 when he was jailed for 12 weeks for illegally collecting 3,603 eggs.

The charges to which Lingham pleaded guilty to today, are taking nine linnet eggs at Cawston Heath on May 21 and possession of articles capable of being used to commit an offence found during the stop search, which are tree climbing spikes, binoculars and padded containers.

He also admitted possession of 75 schedule one listed wild bird eggs, possession of 4,070 ordinarily protected wild bird eggs and possession of articles capable of being used to commit an offence found at his home address, which were wooden receptacles, plastic containers and egg reference books.

Lingham told magistrates: "I didn't realise how many eggs there were.

"I didn't count them."

Chairman of the bench Jeanne Heal, adjourning the hearing for a pre-sentence report, warned Lingham: "We're looking at a quite lengthy custodial sentence."

He was bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on November 27.

The RSPB said this seizure of eggs was the largest since Lingham was last convicted in 2005.