An animal expert, who supplies stuffed and live specimens to movies and photo-shoots, walked free from court today after illegal trading charges against him were dropped.
Simon Wilson, 50, of Canterbury Way, Croxley Green, Hertfordshire - boss of Animatronic Animals - was arrested after police from Scotland Yard's Wildlife Crime Unit raided a Mayfair studio in March, 2009 and seized a £75,000 stuffed tiger, which was being used in a fashion shoot for late designer Alexander McQueen.
His workshop in nearby Bovingdon was searched and officers found more animals, including a Himalayan black bear, an orang-utan, a peregrine falcon, an Asian arowana fish, the skeleton of a mandrill monkey and a leopard skin.
The company has been involved in films including the Harry Potter franchise, Casino Royals and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Croydon Crown Court trial had been due to start last monday, but after a series of difficulties the prosecution, who were relying on a substantial amount of evidence from abroad, offered no evidence.
It is believed too many questions were raised concerning the credibility of a key witness.
Wilson had pleaded not guilty to using a specimen of an endangered species for commercial gain; keeping a specimen of an endangered species for sale; knowing or recklessly making a false statement to obtain a certificate or permit; using a certificate or permit for a purpose other than what it was issued for; dishonestly making a false representation and concealing criminal property.