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Posted by Wes von Papinešu on July 18, 2002 at 22:28:09:
BBC (London, UK) 17 July 02 Illegal snake case is thrown out
Two Plymouth men who were charged with unlawfully keeping wild dangerous animals without a licence have had the case against them thrown out of court.
The police seized just under 30 snakes, 19 of which were venomous, from their Plymouth homes in May 2001.
Mark Craddock and Darren Golden faced six charges each of holding poisonous snakes without a licence. The defence rested on a legal argument.
The two defendants said they had bought the snakes from within the EU
The two defendants claimed the police should never have been given a warrant to search their houses as they had bought the snakes from within the EU.
The prosecution argued it had evidence to prove how the snakes were acquired but would not identify its source.
The judge ruled the police would have to reveal their sources for the evidence to be heard.
The police maintain that they have a responsibility not to disclose their sources and that they will not compromise that principle - even if it means cases are thrown out of court.
As they left court, both men said they were thankful it was all over.