Morecambe Birdman fed pigeons suet cake, pasta and pizza

Karen Leytham.
Karen Leytham.

The Morecambe Birdman was jailed for feeding pigeons suet cake on the Promenade.

John Wilkinson had also been leaving out pizzas, pasta, apples and processed ready meals for the birds.

Neighbours and nearby shopkeepers had complained for years about the noise, smell and nuisance caused by his excessive bird feeding.

An Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) was originally brought against him by Lancaster City Council in December 2012.

But Wilkinson failed to curb his pigeon feeding activities and he was given a suspended sentence by a court in November 2013 with a final warning – stick to the ASBO rules or go to prison.

The latest breach of the ASBO conditions was in February 2014 and resulted in another court case in May, where he was given a six-week prison sentence.

Coun Karen Leytham, Lancaster City Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said Wilkinson’s neighbours were “at the end of their tether”.

“Numerous avenues have been explored over the years in an attempt to support Mr Wilkinson and help him change his behaviour,” said Coun Leytham.

“Mr Wilkinson was feeding approximately 40kg of bird seed to the pigeons each day, along with vast quantities of food such as pizzas, pasta, apples and processed ready-meals which the pigeons weren’t particularly interested in and were remaining out overnight with the potential to attract rats.

“Mr Wilkinson had ignored numerous warnings from the council and police about the problems his feeding activities were causing and as a last resort, after considering all other options, the council applied for an ASBO in December 2012.

“The terms of Mr Wilkinson’s ASBO are such to protect those who live in the vicinity of his property from being caused nuisance by his excessive bird feeding.

“In addition to protecting persons affected by his behaviour, the terms of the order were designed to allow Mr Wilkinson the freedom to continue with his feeding in a responsible manner.”

Under the conditions of his ASBO, Wilkinson was not allowed to feed any birds in his home or within 100 metres of his address; feed any birds in England and Wales outside of the exclusion zone unless the feeding takes place twice a day between the hours of 9.30am and 10.30am, then 3.30pm and 5pm, in a location that cannot be the same location in the morning and afternoon; and no more than half a kilo of bird seed to be fed to the birds at any one time; feed any birds in England and Wales outside the exclusion zone any other foodstuffs or bird food, except bird seed; aid, abet or incite others to feed any bird within England and Wales.