A KINGSKETTLE man has been fined £350 for seriously injuring a seagull with an air gun.
Ryan Boyter spotted the bird perched on a chimney pot and mistook it for a pigeon, Cupar Sheriff Court heard.
He took a shot at it and drove off, leaving it with damaged wings and covered in blood.
Boyter (22), of 4 Bankton Park, was charged under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and admitted that he injured the seagull in John Street, Cellardyke, on May 12 this year by shooting it with an air rifle.
Depute fiscal Joanne Smith told the court Boyter was in his car with a friend when he saw what he thought was a pigeon and said ‘I want a go at that.’
He picked up the air rifle from the back seat, loaded it with a pellet and took a shot at the bird before getting back in the car and driving off.
The seagull fell off the chimney pot into some guttering and a nearby householder saw its wings were damaged and covered in blood.
“The bird was clearly in distress,” said Ms Smith.
“It was seen to fly off but it looked as if it was injured to such an extent that it would die soon afterwards.”
Ms Smith said when the accused’s vehicle was traced outside his house, an air rifle and pellets were clearly visible on the back seat.
He told police he’d taken a shot at the bird in ‘a moment of stupidity’ but didn’t think he’d killed it.
Solicitor David Bell said that as well as being stupid, Boyter realised his actions were reckless as potentially something ‘more significant’ could have happened.
He had bought the air rifle only four days beforehand for £400 and had planned to use it legitimately to shoot rats on his friend’s farm.
Sheriff Mhairi Mactaggart ordered the rifle and pellets to be seized and destroyed.