A WIRRAL man admitted keeping a magpie in a cage at his allotment.
Robert Platt, of Bryn Bank, Wallasey, pleaded guilty at Wirral Magistrates Court to failing to meet the bird’s need for a suitable environment.
The school bus driver also admitted possessing traps and pigeon jackets which were capable of taking a wild bird, an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The court heard the jackets had been locked in a drawer for 12 months and there was no evidence any of the items were used to trap birds.
Platt, 53, told the court he kept 60 pigeons, half a dozen geese and half a dozen chickens at the allotment.
Prosecutor Christopher Murphy said the bird and the jackets were found after an RSPCA and police raid at Landican Allotments, Upton, in December 2011.
He said: “They found a cage with a wild magpie present at the scene. There were concerns the cage the bird was in was too small. The jackets were in a locked drawer and the RSPCA says they are capable of being used as traps.”
District Judge Michael Abelson said video footage recorded at the scene showed the magpie – named Maggie – appeared to be in distress and the area where the animals were appeared “pretty run down”.
But Platt insisted the conditions he kept his animals in were “comparable to most farmyards in the country”.
The RSPCA said it had no concerns over the welfare of a rabbit and a dog he had at home.
Huw Davies, defending, said the magpie did not belong to Platt.
He said: “He accepts the cage was too small. It had only been in the cage for less than 24 hours. It was a temporary measure.
“He took the pigeon jackets from another person. They had been in the locked drawer for 12 months. There is no suggestion he was ever going to use them.”
District Judge Michael Abelson handed Platt a two-year conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £2,000 in costs.