Man convicted for strangling duck in public and throwing it in the bin

A man lured a duck to him with bread before wringing its neck and slinging it in the bin in front of horrified onlookers, a court was told.

Robert Muir, 49, killed the duck last May in a “callous act of cruelty” in a beauty spot in Richmond, south west London.

Wimbledon Magistrates heard that police were called to the area by members of the public who had witnessed the horrifying act.

CCTV footage showed Muir enticing the Mallard duck over to him twice before grabbing it and breaking its neck.

He then twisted its neck again before dumping it in a bin.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called to Richmond Riverside, at around 18:00hrs on Wednesday, 25 May following reports of a man killing a wild duck on a public promenade.

“Officers attended and local enquiries led them to CCTV footage of Muir enticing the Mallard duck over with food on two occasions before grabbing it and breaking its neck.

“The helpless animal was picked up a second time by Muir who twisted its neck again to ensure it was dead before he discarded the body of the bird in a bin and left the scene.”

Muir, of of Sandycombe Road, Richmond upon Thames, denied one count of killing a wild Mallard duck contrary to S1(1)(a) Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 but was convicted by magistrates.

He will be sentenced later this month.

Detective Constable Sarah Bailey from the Met’s Wildlife and Crime Unit said: “Muir lured over a female Mallard duck with food in full view of members of the public.

“Ducks in Richmond are well accustomed to human interaction.

“Muir has used this to cruelly entice and kill this wild duck.

“There was no element of sport or necessity, but it was a callous, random act of cruelty.

“I hope today’s verdict serves as a reminder that wild birds are protected and animal cruelty is unacceptable and we will always pursue those who inflict harm and break clear Wildlife and Countryside legislation.”

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