Egg collector given Asbo preventing travel to Scotland

24 February 2012

From the BBC website: An egg collector from London has been banned from travelling to Scotland during the nesting season for ten years. An anti-social behaviour order was issued against Matthew Gonshaw because of his repeated trips to take eggs of birds like golden eagles and ospreys. He had previously admitted 10 charges of theft and possession of rare eggs. Gonshaw, 49, was jailed for six months last December at Thames Magistrates’ Court. The Asbo prevents him travelling to Scotland between 1 Feb and 31 August. He has also been prevented from visiting RSPB and Wildlife trust land for the next decade. RSPB Scotland said the order would strengthen the penalties he would face for any future wildlife crimes. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, he could receive a £20,000 fine and a five year jail term for breaking the conditions of the Asbo. RSPB Scotland’s head of investigations Ian Thomson said: “Matthew Gonshaw is a serial criminal, and has repeatedly targeted the eggs of some of our rarest species. Over the decades he has plundered hundreds of birds’ nests, feeding his selfish desire to add to his egg collection. We welcome this decision by the English courts for the strong signal it sends out and as an effective measure to protect our breeding birds.” Gonshaw, of Bow, east London, is currently serving his fourth prison term for egg collecting.