Barking bird snatcher given two-year Asbo

A bird snatcher caught with protected songbirds has been banned from carrying cages and nets in one of the first rulings of its kind in the UK.

Peter Fayers, 56, was arrested with linnets and goldfinches in small cages at a bird-watching spot in Choats Road, Barking.

Fayers claimed he collected birds and was replacing ones that had been stolen.

He had left his car at the side of the road with a note that read “car not abandoned - taking dog for a walk”, a court heard.

On November 29, Fayers was handed a �350 fine, �85 prosecution costs and a two-year Asbo stopping him from leaving his home with bird trapping equipment.

Fayers, of Warwall, Beckton, pleaded guilty to taking the protected species contrary the Wildlife and Countryside Act at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on November 16.

The painter decorator was also handed a �35 victim surcharge and the court ordered that his mist nets and cages be destroyed.

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Fayers told officers he knew trapping birds was a wildlife offence, but not a criminal offence, after bird watchers spotted him acting suspiciously off Choats Road near the Thames on October 24.

The London Wildlife Trust welcomed the court sentence and said bird snatching was unusual today.

The trust said illegal songbird trapping was mainly associated with Victorian times and was now carried out legally by licensed people trained to capture and release birds for scientific purposes.

The two-year Asbo was imposed on November 29 following a police prosecution.

A trust spokesman: “This was approved last week and is only the second such order to be granted under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

“As a result of this order, which stands for a minimum of two years, Mr Fayers is unable to leave his place of abode with nets, cages, poles, or any other equipment that would assist himself or another person to trap birds.”