Derby

Grammy nominee Holly Lamar had dead peregrine falcon in freezer

Peregrine falcon Image copyright Derbyshire police
Image caption The wild bird, presumed stolen, was wearing a ID tag from an older captive bird

A US Grammy-nominated country singer has pleaded guilty to having a wild and unregistered peregrine falcon.

Chesterfield Magistrates' Court heard the bird was wearing a tag from a captive-bred peregrine whose remains were found in a freezer, without a leg.

Mary "Holly" Holladay Lamar, 51, of Ashover Road, Old Tupton, Chesterfield, was sentenced to 18 weeks for each offence, suspended for 12 months.

Lamar, whose stage name is Holly Lamar, had two Grammy nominations in 2000.

Image caption Mary "Holly" Holladay Lamar arrives at Chesterfield Magistrates' Court

A Wildlife and Countryside Act warrant was executed and her home was raided by Derbyshire Police and the UK National Wildlife Crime unit on 7 December, when the birds were found.

Lamar has to do 120 hours unpaid work, pay costs of £1,020 and a surcharge of £115.

She has also been banned from owning or being in possession of any birds classed as "Schedule 4" - which are birds that must be registered and ringed if kept in captivity.

Wildlife officers said it was a "fantastic result" and had Lamar not pleaded guilty she would have been jailed.

Lamar co-wrote Breathe with singer Faith Hill and was shortlisted for song of the year and best country song.

It lost out to U2's Beautiful Day and I Hope You Dance by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers in the same categories.

Lamar ran a business called Raptor Rapture Falconry and attended events across the country with her collection of birds of prey.

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