Jail for smuggler caught with eggs strapped to chest

Jeffrey Lendrum Image copyright David Jones/PA
Image caption Egg smuggler Jeffrey Lendrum has a long history of similar offences

A prolific smuggler caught entering the UK with protected birds' eggs strapped to his chest has been jailed for three years and one month.

Jeffrey Lendrum, 56, of Cliftonville Road, Northampton, was stopped at Heathrow Airport in June last year after arriving from South Africa.

He pleaded guilty to four offences on the second day of his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The court heard Lendrum has a long history of egg smuggling.

On 26 June, he arrived in London from Johannesburg carrying eggs from endangered birds of prey, including vultures, eagles, hawks and kites, worth up to £100,000, the Telegraph reported.

Lendrum had strapped the illicit cargo to his body in a sling underneath a heavy coat, the court was told.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Lendrum has been described as a "wildlife criminal"

The prosecution was able to prove that Lendrum knowingly smuggled the eggs for commercial gain by trying to evade customs, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Lendrum was jailed for 18 months in 2010 after he was caught at Birmingham Airport with egg boxes strapped to his chest.

He had taken 14 eggs from peregrine falcon nests in south Wales and tried to smuggle them out of the UK.

Police described him at the time as "the highest level of wildlife criminal".

In October 2015, Lendrum was sentenced to four and a half years in prison in Sao Paolo after he was again found carrying rare falcon eggs. He fled Brazil after he was released on bail.

Remi Ogunfowora, of the CPS, said: "We worked with our partners in the National Crime Agency to ensure this prolific bird egg smuggler faced appropriate charges.

"We hope the sentence passed deters others from becoming involved in the damaging trade around rare and endangered wildlife."

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