14
Oct
18

Songwriter Holly Lamar pleads guilty to possessing wild peregrine in Derbyshire

US grammy nominee Holly Lamar (real name Mary Holladay Lamar), 51, pleaded guilty at Chesterfield Magistrates Court on Friday to two offences relating to the illegal possession of a wild peregrine falcon.

[Lamar arriving at Chesterfield Magistrates Court, photo by BBC]

Derbyshire Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit raided her home in Ashover Road, Old Tupton, Chesterfield last December where they found a juvenile peregrine wearing an identification leg ring that, according to official records, should have been worn by a captive adult peregrine.

[Officers photographing the leg ring on the juvenile peregrine, photo by Derbyshire Police]

Officers found the body of an adult peregrine in the freezer whose leg had been cleanly cut off. It’s head was also detatched and apparently this bird had died in a fight with a female peregrine:

Lamar was interviewed and told officers the juvenile peregrine (believed to be a wild bird) had come from someone else and she was just looking after it.

In court, District Judge Leo Pyle said: “You are a long-standing and accomplished keeper of birds of prey. You know a juvenile Peregrine Falcon from an adult bird. How you acquired that bird I don’t know.

Anyone who flouts the regulations should expect the suitable punishment. Had you not pleaded guilty today I would have no doubt sentenced you immediately to imprisonment“.

Lamar was given an 18 weeks’ sentence for each offence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 120 hours’ unpaid community work. The peregrine was confiscated, she was banned from keeping any Schedule 4 birds for five years and ordered to pay £1,020 costs plus a £115 surcharge.

The court heard that Lamar had lived in Derbyshire for two and a half years but intends to move back to the US imminently. Her defence lawyer said she’d recently been the victim of a £600k fraud and lost everything, currently living on benefits. She denied she had ever been involved selling birds to the Middle East.

Lamar’s company, ‘Raptor Rapture Ltd’ was established in Lincolnshire in 2015 but according to records at Companies House it was dissolved via compulsory strike-off in 2016.

The BBC News Website ran a story on Friday’s court hearing (here).

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13 Responses to “Songwriter Holly Lamar pleads guilty to possessing wild peregrine in Derbyshire”


  1. 1 Dougie
    October 14, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    I have never heard of the woman in question and know very little about keeping birds of prey in captivity. However, what jumps out is:-
    “Anyone who flouts the regulations should expect the suitable punishment. Had you not pleaded guilty today I would have no doubt sentenced you immediately to imprisonment“.”

    IMPRISONMENT ………. How come puting down lethal poisons and all the other despicable killing methods that raptor persecutors commonly employ then deny in court (when they occasionaly get caught) do not end with imprisonment.

  2. October 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    District Judge Leo Pyle obviously interprets the law differently to other judiciary relating to birds of prey being shot and poisoned .

  3. October 14, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    ‘had come from someone else and she was just looking after it.’
    Not that i believe it but did she give the names of this ‘someone else’?
    If not why not and shouldn’t it have increased her sentence?

    ‘She denied she had ever been involved selling birds to the Middle East.’
    Was that what the prosecution was claiming and what was the evidence?

    Anyone any ideas why the head of the adult was cut off? For sales purposes?

  4. 6 Falcon watcher
    October 14, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    She’s just the tip of the iceberg I have says before on this blog the price of British female peregrines is frightening.Not surprising she didn’t name the person she got them from.

  5. 12 Dougie
    October 15, 2018 at 11:40 am

    https://en-gb.facebook.com/raptorrapturefalconry/

    Certainly good to see the general public being given the opportunity to experience these magnificent birds. Perhaps some of them will, as a result, be ready to support the fight against persecution. Probably achieve more than some windbag of a politician floating in and out with the tide.

  6. 13 Falcon watcher
    October 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Yes rob there’s a small 2018 female peregrine on Facebook for £2700 there was also a breeding pair of peregrines a couple of months ago selling for £15000 .


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