We called for the Morecambe Birdman to be freed...and he’ll be out this Friday.
John Wilkinson, who was jailed for six weeks for breaching an ASBO restricting his habit of feeding pigeons, is expected to be released before the weekend after serving half his sentence.
The Visitor campaigned to ‘Free the Morecambe Birdman’ believing his punishment did not fit the crime.
We also said sending a man to prison for feeding birds was an unnecessary waste of taxpayers’ money and unlikely to make a difference to his long-term behaviour.
We also called for active and meaningful support for those in Morecambe who have suffered years of misery as a direct result of his bird feeding activities.
Neighbours have complained for years about the noise, nuisance and smell caused by Wilkinson’s habit of feeding pigeons at his home on Cavendish Road in the West End of Morecambe.
Our campaign was sparked after angry Visitor readers bombarded social media with messages calling for Wilkinson, who is being held in HM Preston prison, to be released.
Rita Patton, a friend of Wilkinson’s who started her own campaign on Facebook and organised a public bird feeding in Morecambe to show support, said: “I’m proud of The Visitor. You’ve done things in the right way.
“Apparently John is doing really well although he’s a little nervous by all the attention, because he’s seen all the press and TV coverage.
“I’m going to have a meeting with him and (charity) West End Impact when he gets out, to explain to him why we started the campaign.
“I hope he will go back to feeding the birds, but a little more responsibly.”
Mrs Patton has collected £100 in donations, which she will hand over to Wilkinson once he is freed.
Meanwhile David Morris MP has written to the Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, to ask if procedures were followed correctly in the case of Wilkinson.
“This is a really sad case,” said Mr Morris.
“I pass Mr. Wilkinson’s house regularly and I am sure it must be frustrating for neighbours to have so many pigeons flying past all of the time.”
Wilkinson was sent to jail after feeding pigeons approximately 40kg of bird seed each day, along with vast quantities of food such as pizzas, pasta, apples and processed ready-meals, which he was forbidden from doing under the terms of his ASBO.
He will be released under legal guidelines which allow people jailed for less than a year to be freed after serving just half their sentence.