1.7 Failure to prosecute the illegal collector

Following the meeting with Edinger at Logan Farm, SNH undertook steps (but not entirely of its own free will) to see whether he could be prosecuted. To this end, SNH approached the Scottish Office Solicitor’s Office (SOSO) to see whether a case against Edinger would stand a chance of success.

The SOSO seems to have advised against making a case against Edinger. They concluded, among things, that there was no legislation in place to prosecute Edinger for illegally removing fossils. Apparently, only owners and occupiers of the site could be prosecuted for damaging a SSSI at that time.

The SOSO gave SNH another couple of reasons for not pursuing prosecution, including raising the question about the conditions of the alleged permit (= oral permit). The SOSO seems to have been aware that this would have undermined a court case, and therefore concluded that a case may prove embarrassing to SNH.

This meant that Edinger could not be prosecuted. Ironically, this was probably a favourable result for SNH as there not being a court case allowed them to contain this affair within those immediately involved.

Next we will look at a conference about the plunder at Birk Knowes organised by SNH, and how they could also not get this right.

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