April 2023

Man admits sex act with gull in alleyway

A man has admitted carrying out a sex act involving a herring gull that caused unnecessary suffering to the bird, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

CCTV footage played in court showed David Lee, 40, from Roker Avenue, Sunderland, kneeling down in an alleyway at around 1am, with a wild bird between his legs.

He is seen pulling his pants off and appearing to masturbate with the bird close to his groin area while watching pornography on his phone before kicking the bird away and walking off.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said: “At around 1am the defendant was seen chasing a gull down the road. The second piece of footage sees the defendant chasing the same bird down the road.

“In the third piece of footage, the defendant has a different bird in his hand. It is a smaller bird. You see the defendant with the bird in his arms and he goes a short space down the road.

“It is clear from the CCTV footage that the defendant is masturbating. The defendant places the bird close to his groin and in between his legs. He goes back to his phone and continues with the act.”

She continued: “He pulls his trousers up and gives a kick to the bird. He picks up his phone and starts to walk off.”

The court heard that the defendant’s phone was later taken by police and found searches for porn sites.

Chair of Magistrates, Kay Gilbert, adjourned the case for sentencing and said: “I have to say that as an experienced Magistrate, this is one of the most unusual cases we have come across in the magistrates’ court.”