Catherine Emberton, aged 29 years of Gleadless Road, Heeley, Sheffield appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on 19th February 2015 where she pleaded guilty to three offences relating to trade in tiger derivatives. It was alleged that Ms. Emberton had sold and offered for sale jewellery containing tiger teeth and tiger claws between February 2013 and June 2014 and was keeping tiger teeth and claws for sale on 9th June 2014.
Following a joint investigation by South Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officers and the UK National Wildlife Crime Unit, officers executed a search warrant at Ms. Emberton’s home on 9th June 2014 when they discovered a quantity of tiger teeth and claws along with jewellery making materials. Ms. Emberton was arrested and subsequently charged with offences contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997, which resulted in yesterday’s proceedings at Sheffield Crown Court.
Ms. Emberton pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud, which was accepted by the court and therefore dismissed.
Sentence was adjourned until 30th March 2015. His Honour Judge Moore granted Ms. Emberton unconditional bail, but told her that he was keeping all sentencing options open and that a custodial sentence was a real possibility.
Globally, tiger and its derivatives receive the highest level of protection. In the UK illegal trade in the species is an offence contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997.