|Duck Killer: Muir|
A street drinker caught on CCTV killing a female duck in front of her mate by the Thames is facing a ban from going anywhere near wildlife.
Robert Lyle Muir, 49, who lives in digs in Sandycombe Road, North Sheen was convicted of killing a wild bird, namely a female mallard, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A council CCTV operator was filming a group sitting by Richmond Riverside near Heron Square when Glaswegian Muir grabbed the bird and twisted her neck.
He was investigated by the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit and today was bailed until February 10 for sentencing and faces six months imprisonment.
Prosecutor Mr. Janaka Siriwardena told the court: “There will be an application at the sentencing hearing for a restraining order for Mr. Muir not to approach wildlife within fifty metres.”
His lawyer Mr. Tim Sleigh-Johnson said the order would be unworkable. “He will have to stay inside with all his windows and doors closed.
“If a wild animal came close to him he would be in breach.”
Mr. Janaka Siriwardena explained: “It was a hideous, despicable unprovoked attack on a defenceless animal.
“He lured the duck near to him and then killed it for mere sport.”
Muir was with a group of drinkers being monitored by council-operated CCTV at 6.15pm on May 25, last year when the female duck and her male mate flew across the river towards them.
|Cruel: Muir Caught Killing Bird|
“The ducks will seek out humans for food and one of the group was seen throwing bread to the ducks,” said the prosecutor.
“As the duck approached Mr. Muir lent over and took the duck by the neck and wrung the neck and threw the duck in front of him.
“It was then put in a white plastic bag and thrown away.
“It is likely that the ducks were mates for life and Mr. Muir killed this duck by luring it and without any justification whatsoever killed the duck by wringing its neck in a heinous manner.”
Detective Constable Sarah Bailey said: “The likelihood is that the female was nesting at that time,” explaining the ducks probably had a river nest laden with eggs.
“Muir grabbed the bird and appeared to twist her neck, then grab a second time, apparently to finish her off.
“I assume the duck was exhibiting signs of life and he wings the neck again and wipes his hands,” explained the officer.
The remains were tossed into a nearby bin and a female member of the drinking group was seen fleeing in disgust.
|Mug: Muir In Custody|
Muir denied the charge based on the only possible defence available to him, namely that the bird was injured and suffering and he was carrying-out a mercy killing.
He continued lying in the witness box, claiming: “It looked like it had been hit by a propeller on the right side. The ribs were cut.
“It was cut to the bone, a clear cut on the left side.
“The girls I was sitting with were getting upset because of the injuries.
“I did the right thing in my eyes and I apologise if I got it wrong. I did it twice to make sure it wasn’t suffering.”
Before the trial he told Mr. Siriwardena: “If I lose my house I hope you’re proud of yourself, that’s a real possibility. This is a stitch-up.”