British man guilty of killing rare butterfly spared jail

2017-04-07 19:50
A handout picture shows a Large Blue butterfly. (Martin Warren, Butterfly Conservation via AFP)

A handout picture shows a Large Blue butterfly. (Martin Warren, Butterfly Conservation via AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - A man convicted of capturing and killing two of Britain's rarest butterflies, the endangered Large Blues, was spared jail on Friday, but ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.

The court in the southwest city of Bristol also banned Philip Cullen from three nature reserves popular with the Large Blues, a species that has protected status.

"He is extremely remorseful," Cullen's lawyer Michael Hartnell said. "His interest in the countryside and wildlife is one he has had for a long, long time."

The 57-year-old Cullen will also have to pay £300 in prosecution costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Cullen was found guilty last month of killing the butterflies in what prosecutor Kevin Withey described as a "unique case".

"There has never been a prosecution in terms of capturing and killing in the past," Withey said at the time.

Conservation volunteers spotted Cullen trapping Large Blues with a small net in two protected areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset in southwest England.

Police then raided his home in Bristol in February last year and found 30 trays of dead moths and butterflies, including the Large Blues in question.

Investigators discovered that Cullen was selling the butterflies on eBay while he claimed he had bought them from a French farm.

First discovered in Britain in 1795, Large Blues had disappeared from the country by 1979. They were re-introduced from Sweden in 1983 at a dozen sites.

Butterfly Conservation, a non-governmental group, said there was a black market for mounted Large Blues mocked up to look like Victorian-era specimens that could sell for up to £300 each.


Read more on:    uk

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Logistics Manager

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R420 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Actuarial Analyst

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R400 000 - R650 000 Per Year

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R420 000 - R540 000 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.