Halesworth: Ex-Pc due in court over wild bird eggs

A FORMER Suffolk police officer is to appear in court accused of possessing nearly 650 wild bird eggs while he was still in the constabulary.

Michael Upson is scheduled to appear before Norwich Magistrates Court for the first hearing of his case tomorrow.

The 52-year-old, who lives in the Halesworth area, was originally interviewed after officers from the professional standards department went to his home address in June.

At the time it is understood that Upson was a constable based at Suffolk Constabulary’s training department in Martlesham. He is said to have retired in August.

Following a four-month inquiry Upson was charged with two alleged offences on October 10, when he returned to Martlesham’s police investigation centre.

The first accusation involves the possession of wild bird eggs. It is understood the charge related to 649 eggs. Some are said to have belonged to woodlarks and marsh harriers, which are among the country’s rare breeding species.

The second accusation relates to possession of articles used to collect wild bird eggs.

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Suffolk Constabulary confirmed Upson is facing charges over the allegations.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “A man has been arrested and charged with possession of wild bird eggs and possession of articles used to collect wild bird eggs.

“Michael Upson, aged 52, from Halesworth was arrested after voluntarily attending a police station to be interviewed under caution.

“This follows a warrant at an address in Halesworth on June 21.

“The alleged offences are in contrary with Section 19(3) Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“He will appear at Norwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday, October 24.”