Sissen to appeal

Sissen to appeal

A report in Cage & Aviary Birds week ending 29 April 2000

Jailed bird keeper Harry Sissen is to appeal against the two-and-a-half-year sentence that has wiped out his life’s work and devastated his wife and family.

The highly accomplished breeder of rare and endangered parrots had expected at worst a heavy fine if the jury at Newcastle Crown Court had found him guilty of illegally importing three Lear’s macaws and six blue-headed macaws into the UK.

But the judge handed out one of the heaviest sentences ever passed for taking part in the illegal trafficking of protected birds.

Instead of returning home to his farm near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, full-time bird breeder Harry was escorted from the court by two police officers and taken to high security Durham Prison.

He is expected to be transferred to an open prison, such as Wetherby in West Yorkshire, within a fortnight, in keeping with the nature of his offences

. As Harry was led out of the court he shouted "If there is a God, I can stand in front of him with a clear conscience. I did the right thing."

His daughter, Yvonne Scales, broke down in the public gallery and had to be escorted from the court as she watched her father being led away.

His wife, Pat, who wasn’t in court for the verdict, said she was "devastated" when she heard that Harry wouldn’t be coming home and "horrified" at the severity of the sentence.

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 " Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret "

( If you drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will soon find a way back)

Horace (65-8 BC)