Cumbrian pair fight conviction for feeding wild pigeons
Last updated at 12:45, Wednesday, 04 July 2012
A mother and daughter are fighting a court conviction for feeding pigeons.
Monica and Janet McIntosh are appealing their conviction and sentence for breaching an abatement order to stop leaving food out for birds, served on them by Allerdale council in June last year.
The pair from Broadacres, High Harrington, Workington, were found guilty of breaching the order at West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in December and were fined £500 each.
The first day of the appeal at Carlisle Crown Court heard evidence from Peter Daley, regulatory service manager, including environmental health, for Allerdale Council.
He told the court that the council received reports from Broadacres residents in February and March 2011 complaining about the noise and droppings from large numbers of pigeons which they believed were coming onto the estate because they were being fed by the McIntoshs. Mr Daley met the McIntoshs on June 29 2011 and served them the abatement order.
Mr Daley said: “The purpose of the meeting was to ask them about what amount of bird food they were depositing and then decide whether to serve the abatement notice.”
He said that they told him they put out two trays of bird food which were topped up in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening if necessary.
Mr Clarke, representing Monica McIntosh, said that the abatement notice had already been drawn up prior to the meeting and argued that Mr Daley had already decided to serve the notice before hearing what the McIntoshs had to say.
Mr Daley denied this, adding: “What I wanted to find out from the meeting was whether they were prepared to take any action to alleviate the problem.”
Mr Clarke went on to ask Mr Daley if he had at any point in the meeting asked the McIntoshs to voluntarily change their feeding, to which he replied, ‘no’.
Howard Stainthorpe, former environmental health officer for Allerdale council, also gave evidence at the crown court.
He said he was asked by the police to visit the property in January 2011 but was satisfied with the manner of bird feeding and there were no problems with pigeons when he visited the address at that time.
Susan Ellison, who lives next door to the McIntoshs, told the court that she cannot hang out her washing or sit in her garden because of the pigeons.
She said the problems had been going on for around six years but confirmed that they had only been reported in February last year.
First published at 11:23, Wednesday, 04 July 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk