Buyer of whale teeth and dolphin and cheetah skulls jailed

Leopard skins, cheetah skull and snowy owl traded illegally Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption The items were bought in contravention of COTES (Control of Trade in Endangered Species) regulations

A man who showed a "flagrant disregard" for the law by buying the skulls of a dolphin and a cheetah and whale teeth has been jailed.

Aaron Halstead, 24, of Glen View Road in Burnley, admitted purchasing an endangered species and offering a snowy owl for sale without a valid permit at the town's crown court.

He had been "flouting" the rules when he made the purchases, most of which he bought online, Lancashire Police said.

He was jailed for 24 weeks.

Police raided Halstead's home in October 2014 and discovered the items, which officers established had been bought in contravention of COTES (Control of Trade in Endangered Species) regulations.

Alongside admitting the four counts at trial, the 24-year-old also denied four charges relating to leopard skins.

Lancashire Police said the trial judge requested the skins be seized and ordered the charges to lie on file.

Wildlife officer PC Nigel Keates said it was "an unusual case and very different from the type of wildlife crime we're used to dealing with here in Lancashire".

"He has shown a flagrant disregard for the regulations in place surrounding the buying and selling of endangered species and today he has been sentenced accordingly for flouting these rules."

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