A man has been slapped with a £1,000 fine after he killed a seagull by whacking it with his walking stick when it tried to steal his lunch.

John Nicholson, 68, from Gonant in Wales, was convicted of intentionally killing the wild bird after CCTV footage proved he had hit the animal on purpose in January 2020.

He was also convicted of disorderly behaviour after he became abusive to police in Rhyl, Wales following the incident.

Chairman Alwyn Lloyd Ellis of Llandudno Magistrates' Court, said the CCTV "clearly" shows an act of intent by the defendant.

As a result of Nicholson's actions, the bird was found dead and "smashed to pieces" in the street, the court heard.

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A passer-by said she scooped up the seagull's remains into a box so children wouldn't see the "disgusting" carcass left behind.

Nicholson, who had no previous convictions, was given a fine and ordered to pay £180 for each of the two charges.

In addition, the 68-year-old had to fork out £652 in court costs.

Nicholson was arrested under the Wildlife Countryside Act Protection of Birds Law.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said at the time: "We responded to an incident on Market Street, Rhyl at 12.26 pm following reports that an elderly man was hitting a bird with a walking stick.

"The 67-year old man has now been arrested under the Wildlife Countryside Act Protection of Birds law and has been taken into custody."

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At the time, an RSPCA Cymru spokesman said: "These allegations are very shocking and extremely serious.

"This matter is being investigated by North Wales Police and we are unable to comment further for legal reasons."

Last year, a man was handed a 12-week curfew after he killed a seagull that had tried to grab his chips.

John Llewellyn Jones was on a day-trip in Weston-super-Mare when he grabbed the bird by the leg and smashed it against a wall in front of children and other shocked passers-by.

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