Sunderland: Man sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for impaling baby seagull on fence

impaled seagulls

Terrence Johnston, 41, has been sentenced to 16 weeks in prison for the murder of two chicks (Image: Northumbria Police/SWNS)

A man who speared a baby seagull and viciously beat another chick to death has been arrested.

Terrence Johnston, 41, attacked defenseless herring gulls at random on a Sunderland road last July.

A court heard that Johnston climbed a fence to catch the first bird before killing it and impaling it on the railing.

Then he knocked down the second defenseless chick and threw it over the fence.

Johnston was arrested and later admitted to killing two wild birds when he appeared in court.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison and branded an “appalling man” by Northumbria Police.

gull killer

Johnston was branded an ‘appalling’ person (Image: Northumbria Police/SWNS)

Wildlife Enforcement Officer PC Peter Baker said: “This is an appalling case and I am delighted that Johnston’s actions have resulted in a prison sentence.

“There is never an excuse for this kind of heinous abuse.

“Both gulls were juveniles and had recently left their nests. Possibly they were not yet fully airworthy – that is, defenseless.

“I sincerely hope this case sends a strong message to everyone.

“Wild animal crime is something we take seriously, and we are committed to taking swift and decisive action against anyone who harms or abuses animals.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues and partners, including the RSPCA, to educate people in our region about the importance of caring for animals.

“I would like to thank the public for their continued cooperation and encourage reporting to us or the RSPCA of any incident of animal cruelty or cruelty to animals so that we can investigate and take action.”

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Justin Scacco

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