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Beckton man caught catching protected birds in Dagenham

The finches were found in cages inside a bag. The finches were found in cages inside a bag.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
7:00 AM

A Beckton man who admitted catching seven protected wild birds said he did not know it was a criminal offence.

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Peter Fayers, of Warwall, was found with cages of finches and nets on a stretch of open land in Choats Road, Dagenham on October 24.

The 56-year-old said he collected birds and was replacing ones that had been stolen. He told officers he knew taking birds was a wildlife offence but not a criminal one.

Fayers, of Warwall, Beckton, pleaded guilty to taking the protected species contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The court heard how a member of the public called police to say he believed a man was trapping birds.

Police officers found Fayers’s car by the side of the road with a note that read: ‘Car not abandoned – taking dog for a walk’.

The member of the public pointed them in the direction of Fayers who was on open land nearby.

On the ground beside him were bags containing cages with seven small finches and around 10 to 15 metres of netting.

Duty solicitor Remy Mohamed said father-of-eight Fayers – who works as a painter – had never been in trouble with police.

Chairman of the bench Stuart Jubb adjourned the case until November 29 for reports, describing it as serious and said the matter would probably not be dealt with by way of a fine.

A RSPB spokesman said taking some wild birds can threaten the future of their species.

He added: “Trapping is often inhumane and the victims can be left maimed or sometimes killed as they struggle to escape.”

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