‘Bizarre’ seagull sex act saw man drop pants in alley and cause bird ‘suffering’

A man has pleaded guilty to inflicting unnecessary suffering on a wild herring gull after using the bird during a sex act.

David Lee, 40, admitted the “bizarre” sexual act when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, April 25.

His actions, caught on CCTV, are offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

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Kneeling down near Gladstone Street, Sunderland, at around 1am on August 18 2022 he was seen putting the bird between his legs and then masturbating while watching pornography on his phone.

He then kicked the bird away and walked off, the court heard.

The court heard Lee charged as follows: "On Thursday, August 18 last year at Sunderland, Lee wantonly or unreasonably did an act [where] he namely took a wild bird and undertook a sexual act whereby unnecessary suffering was caused to that animal, namely a herring gull."

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess described the CCTV: "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.

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"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 added: "He pulls his trousers up and gives a kick to the bird. He picks up his phone and starts to walk off."

Searches for porn sites were later found on his phone, the court heard.

Lee "can't explain his actions" Annalisa Moscardini, defending, said.

Magistrate Kay Gilbert adjourned the case until May 23 at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court for sentencing.

"The word bizarre has been used on more than one occasion," she 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."

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