Many of you will have seen or heard on the news of the 6 month jail term handed out to the UK's most notorious egg thief Matthew Gonshaw (49) of Cherrywood Close, Bow, East London. He was convicted of stealing and possessing wild bird eggs including species such as Golden Eagle, Peregrine, Osprey, Red Kite and Avocet.
Gonshaw's home in East London was raided by officers from the Metropolitan Police and RSPB Investigations unit on 2nd June this year. Nearly 700 eggs were found at the premises.
This was his fifth conviction relating to his collection.
In April 2001, he was caught raiding a golden eagle's nest in the outer Hebrides and fined £500. In 2002, he received a three-month sentence for stealing rare British species of eggs, but officers were unable to find his collection. In 2004, he was jailed for four months and fined £5,000 in Scotland for taking eggs and he was jailed again for six months in 2005 after being caught with more than 700 eggs.
We can only hope his latest sentence goes some way towards detering him from his disgusting addiction in the future but his history would seem to suggest otherwise. Let's all wish him happy Christmas as a guest of Her Majesty and hope it's not just the turkey's rear end that gets stuffed this year!
His photo is below. Keep an eye out for him on your local patch (though obviously not in the next 6 months!) and if you spot him deal with him in the way you deem appropriate!