Illegal primate skulls importer given suspended sentence

A man who illegally imported endangered primate skulls from Africa before selling them online has been spared jail.

Peter Bailey.
Peter Bailey.

Peter Bailey, 65, was handed a 26-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, after he was found guilty of four charges of keeping, one count of offering, and one count of selling endangered species at Inner London Crown Court, police said.

Bailey, of Lambeth, was also ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay court costs of £4,000.

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The specimens included skulls from primates, including chimpanzees, drills, guenons, mangabeys, macaques and colobus, as well as derivatives from other endangered species such as crocodiles, elephants, Asian black bears and whales.

The Metropolitan Police said Bailey offered items for sale without the necessary certificate or import permits required to trade legally.

A wildlife inspector concluded many of the primate skulls were from central or west Africa, with some recently taken from the wild.

Bailey sold two baboon skulls to a buyer in the UK for £140 and £170 respectively after they were advertised online as “taxidermy monkey skull, baboon, curio, collectable skull, rare”, police said.