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Prolific bird smuggler jailed after being caught with 19 rare eggs at Heathrow airport

Jeffrey Lendrum after he was caught with eggs strapped to his body. Credit: CPS/PA

A prolific smuggler has been jailed after he was caught entering the UK with 19 protected bird eggs strapped to his chest.

Jeffrey Lendrum was handed a jail term of three years and one month on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to four offences on the second day of his trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed.

The 56-year-old, of Cliftonville Road in Northampton, had been caught with the eggs strapped to his body by a sling hidden underneath a heavy coat at Heathrow airport on June 26 2018.

Of the 19 protected bird eggs, five of them were fish-eagle eggs, which are estimated at around £5,000 each.

Mr Lendrum used socks and other devices to try and protect the shipment. Credit: CPS

Lendrum had flown into the UK from Johannesburg, South Africa, and had hatched a plan to use socks and other padding devices to try and protect the precious cargo.

The prosecution was able to prove Lendrum knowingly smuggled the eggs in to the country for commercial gain by trying to evade customs, the CPS said.

The eggs Jeffrey Lendrum smuggled in to Heathrow airport. Credit: CPS

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."