eBay woman who sold tiger teeth jewellery escapes jail

Catherine Emberton, 29, arrives at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing.  Pic: Ross Parry
Catherine Emberton, 29, arrives at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing. Pic: Ross Parry
  • Sheffield trader sold 129 pieces of jewellery featuring endangered animal specimens
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A SHEFFIELD woman who used eBay to sell jewellery made from tiger teeth and claws has escaped a prison sentence.

Catherine Emberton, 29, of Gleadless Road, Heeley, pleaded guilty to selling 129 pieces of jewellery featuring endangered animal specimens in the 18 months up to June 2014.

She claimed she could legally sell the items because they were ‘worked’ items of jewellery from before 1947. The trade of such items is permitted under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

But Sheffield Crown Court heard she had no proof that the pieces, supposedly from the Victorian Raj era in India in the 18th century, pre-dated 1947.

Peter Pimm, mitigating, said that despite turning over more than £17,300 during the 18 months she made very little profit.

Sentencing Emberton to 120 hours of unpaid work and ordering that the jewellery be destroyed, Judge Robert Moore said: “You are fundamentally a good person and this is not a case of fraudulently selling animal parts. However anybody selling jewellery based endangered species needs to check the law first.”

Following the sentencing Andy MacWilliam, investigating offer for the National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “Anybody who choses to trade in endangered species has a duty to know the law.

“The illegal trade feeds the marketplace and is a threat to species in the wild.”