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‘Utterly self-centred’ heiress swerves jail after importing python skin

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An heiress with 85,000 Instagram followers has been ordered to perform
community service after importing endangered python skin into the UK.

“Self-centred” Stephanie Scolaro sold snakeskin baseball caps and bags on her website SS Python, as well as through her Instagram account.

The swimwear model also sold the snakeskin fashion accessories at three London shops: two in Mayfair and one in Bexleyheath.

The 26-year-old, whose sister appeared on the Channel 4 reality TV show Rich Kids Of Instagram, is the daughter of Italian mining tycoon Francesco Scolaro.

She admitted two counts of keeping for sale a species acquired unlawfully, and one count of selling a species unlawfully imported between 2016 and 2017.

On Monday, Judge Michael Gledhill QC criticised her approach to life at Southwark Crown Court.

He told her: “I take the view that this is a young woman who, for all sorts of different reasons, is utterly self-centred – her entire life is utterly centred around herself.

“One of the reasons is that over the years, all her life, she has been given exactly what she likes.

“Focusing the spotlight on herself, ‘it’s all about me,’ there is no thought for anybody else.”

The python-skin hats were being sold online and in three London stores. Pic: Met Police
Image:
The python skin hats were being sold online and in three London stores. Pic: Met Police

Judge Gledhill said the endangered snakes’ suffering as they are skinned alive “doesn’t cross her mind, it does not concern her”.

He lambasted Scolaro’s “what I want I get” attitude, adding: “You are completely adrift and you need guidance.”

Adam Davies QC, defending, said: “This has possibly been the most salutary period in her life”.

Police began investigating the model in November 2016 after a package sent from Indonesia was stopped as it was sent via Leipzig in Germany.

It was intended to be sent to Scolaro at her parents’ address in Mayfair.

The judge said Scolaro was 'utterly self-centred'. Pic: Stephanie Scolaro/Instagram
Image:
The judge said Scolaro was ‘utterly self-centred’. Pic: Stephanie Scolaro/Instagram

German customs forwarded the DHL parcel, containing 10 python skin hats and two bags, on to the UK after alerting British authorities.

In March 2017, officers attended an address in Baker Street where the model had been living and seized a further five hats.

Police arrested her on the same day and she gave a no comment interview.

In October 2018, Scolaro was charged with two counts of importing goods with the intention to evade prohibition and four counts of keeping for sale specimens of species imported unlawfully.

Detective Constable Sarah Bailey, from the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “Pythons are one of many species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species – an international treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.

“Any trade outside of the legal framework could threaten the conservation status of the remaining wild population and contribute to its decline in the wild.

“We will continue to enforce the regulations in place and work to protect these species when offences are discovered.”

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