They’ve cracked the case: Policeman amassed collection of 649 rare bird eggs that he stole from nests


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The Independent Online

A police constable amassed a large collection of rare bird eggs that he stole from nests - often while on duty for Suffolk Police.

Michael Upson, who is now retired, travelled across the UK to gather eggs but the majority were stolen from nests near his home in Halesworth.

At Norwich Crown Court today, the 52-year-old admitted possessing the eggs contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The collection was found after a joint raid by police officers and investigators from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Mr Upson kept detailed notes of his nest raids, with one diary entry reading “There were no people about and the darkness gave me some cover.”

Another entry read: “Later in the morning I had to pick up a colleague. Whilst idly chatting he happened to mention a car number to look out for - the car contained suspected egg collectors!

”He had seen it on the computer… Little did he know what the gloves in my jacket pocket on the back seat contained!“

Following his arrest in June, Mr Upson was suspended from Suffolk Police, but retired before being convicted and will therefore keep his pension.

He is yet to be sentenced for the crimes, although the maximum sentence for collecting wild bird eggs is six months’ imprisonment.

Upson's collection will probably be destroyed, although some may be given to museums.