Sissen’s illegal earnings

"Sissen’s illegal earnings" A report in the Cage & Aviary Birds issue for week ending August 11th, 2001

A court has ruled that Harry Sissen made £160,000 ($ 240,000) from illegal activities involving endangered parrots, for which he was jailed last year.

It was decided he had made £60,000 ($ 90,000) from illegally importing nine rare birds and £100,000 ($150,000) for other birds in his possession for which he had no account.

The nine birds were three Lear’s macaws and six blue-headed macaws, for which he served eight months in prison until his release last December.

The judge at Newcastle Crown Court rejected the figure of £404,000 arrived at by Customs & Excise because at least some of the birds had been obtained legally.

But Judge Guy Whitburn, who jailed Harry Sissen in April last year, described him as "wholly obsessed" with breeding rare birds.

"He would try to operate within the law but he was prepared to go to any lengths to obtain endangered species from which to breed," he concluded.

The defence had claimed Sissen’s lack of records was due to his dyslexia and poor education.

But Judge Whitburn said "I found him to be articulate, capable of organisational feats and revelling in his reputation - often self-proclaimed - as the world’s best breeder of endangered parrots.

"To succeed where others with greater resources have failed showed talent and considerable ability."

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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)