Teenager on E-scooter grabs pigeon from a tree before trying to rip wings off in attack

A TEENAGER on an E-scooter grabbed a pigeon out of a tree and tried to rip its wing off leaving it dying in the street, the RSPCA said.

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In the horrific attack, the youngster rode past the bird as it was eating berries in a tree before snatching it from a branch and injuring the helpless animal. Due to its severe injuries, the blood-covered bird could not be saved and had to be put down by a vet.

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A passer-by witnessed the attack as he was walking along Sandpiper Close in Walthamstow, east London, at about 11.30am on Sunday, June 5.He saw the teenager on a silver scooter attack the bird, stayed with the injured pigeon and reported it to the RSPCA.

Animal Rescue Officers (AROs) arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and could see the terrified bird hiding behind a fence near the tree with a badly broken wing.

ARO Nicole Thomas from the RSPCA managed to rescue the pigeon but it was so badly injured it was put to sleep to end its suffering, the charity said.

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The pigeon was put to sleep after a teenager tried to rip off its wing, the RSPCA says (Image: RSPCA)


The bird's feathers strewn across the ground near where the attack happened in east London (Image: RSPCA)

The RSPCA has launched an appeal for information in a bid to catch the youth responsible for the "mindless attack".

Ms Thomas said: "When I arrived at the scene there was blood and feathers on the street and the poor bird was hiding behind a nearby fence and was obviously terrified and stressed.

"I managed to capture the bird but the damage was so bad the kindest thing to do was to put the pigeon to sleep.

"The poor bird was happily feeding when this youth came along and just grabbed it from the tree and carried out such a mindless attack on a defenceless animal.

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The attack took place in Sandpiper Close in Walthamstow, east London (Image: RSPCA)

Feathers at the scene in Walthamstow

Feathers at the scene in Walthamstow (Image: RSPCA)

"I am keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the incident or who may know who is responsible as I believe if he was on a scooter he would likely live locally."

She added that the RSPCA is also keen to hear from anyone with CCTV in the area which might help the investigation.

The suspect is described as a young teenager who is white with dark hair. He was wearing a tracksuit and riding on a silver scooter.

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA's appeals line on 0300 1234 999.

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In 2020, the RSPCA says it investigated more than 57,000 complaints of animal cruelty.

It came after the animal charity said in 2019 that it had secured 1,432 convictions relating to animal welfare offences, representing a 93.7 percent success rate of its total cases.

Last month it was announced that courts will be given powers to hand out tougher punishments for animal cruelty crimes under sentencing guideline proposals.

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The Sentencing Council wants to bring in new guidance for magistrates and judges on how to sentence the most serious offences, including causing unnecessary suffering, tail docking and animal fighting.


A picture showing the injured pigeon (Image: RSPCA)It comes after Parliament raised the maximum penalty for such crimes from six months to up to five years in jail.The move aims to reflect changes brought in by the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 which are under consultation until August.Judge Rosa Dean, a Sentencing Council member, said: "Animal cruelty is a serious offence and can cause great distress to animals who have been ill-treated or neglected or even forced to fight each other for entertainment.

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"Animals are not able to defend themselves or draw attention to their suffering, and it is important that courts have the powers to deliver appropriate sentences to offenders who commit these crimes."

Under the proposed changes for the most serious offences, sadistic or extreme cases or those carried out in the context of commercial or organised criminal activity will be assessed at the highest culpability.

The Council said that cases involving multiple incidents or the use of significant force will also increase an offender's culpability.

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Where an offender's actions have caused an animal to die or sustain life-threatening injuries, or have caused substantial pain or suffering, this may also attract a higher sentence than before.

If a case affects a significant number of animals, involves images of the cruelty being shared on social media or is committed in the presence of children, these will now be treated as aggravating factors.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: "We welcome this consultation following the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act which was finally brought into law last year, following years of campaigning.

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"We're pleased that the Council is seeking views on the guidelines and that animals will soon have better protection from those who hurt them and exploit them."

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