A 65-year-old man has been handed a 12-week curfew after he killed a seagull in an “unthinkable and despicable” act when the bird stole his chips.
John Llewellyn Jones, from Cardiff in Wales, killed the gull during a day trip to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset back in July.
The lesser black-backed gull flew around the defendant trying to reach his chips and subsequently knocked his snack from his hand.
Jones’ reaction “shocked bystanders, including children” as witnesses observed him catch the gull by the leg and smash the animal into a wall, killing it.
The 65-year-old was found guilty of a Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 offence at North Somerset Magistrates’ Court in Weston-super-Mare.
He had pleaded not guilty but magistrates listened to two witnesses and said their accounts were “credible and compelling” before finding him guilty.
Jones was sentenced to a 12-week curfew, applicable between the hours of 8pm and 8am, which started immediately.
He was also ordered to pay $1400 in costs and a $160 victim surcharge.
Gulls are protected under section 1 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
RSPCA Cymru said the man showed “blatant disregard for animal welfare” and “cared more for his chips than what his actions did to the poor gull”.
“This was an unthinkable and despicable way to treat an animal – with this gull smashed against a wall by the man, solely because it knocked chips from his hand,” RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said.
“This was deliberate cruelty, borne from the fact that this man cared more for his chips than what his actions did to the poor gull. Simply, the man showed blatant disregard for an animal because he was annoyed about his chips.
“Witnesses saw the attack and shocked bystanders, including children, had to look on as the man killed the gull.”
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.