The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Egg thief admits stealing again
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
BBC News

A Coventry man described as Britain's most convicted collector of wild birds' eggs has admitted stealing again.

Gregory Peter Wheal, 44, of Isambard Drive, Longford, pleaded guilty to possessing raven and peregrine falcon eggs and owning collecting equipment.

Wheal has eight previous convictions for egg thefts

Wheal, who appeared before magistrates in Coventry, has eight previous convictions for egg theft.

He said the eggs had been hidden in his home for several years. Wheal will be sentenced on 18 December.

When he returns to court, an application will be made for an unprecedented Anti-social Behaviour Order preventing him from going onto National Park land. In January 2006 Wheal was jailed for four months for taking eggs.
Peregrine falcon and raven eggs were found at his home

The court was told that Wheal was trying to get over his obsession by taking photographs of eggs instead of taking the eggs themselves.

RSPB senior investigating officer Guy Shorrock said: "It's typical of egg collectors, and there are quite a few in the Coventry area.

"They have got this overwhelming compulsion to take eggs, which are a trophy of their efforts in the field and their kudos in finding the eggs in the nests of birds."

Collecting eggs from wild birds' nests has been illegal since 1954.

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