- United Kingdom -
In this article there are references to “sex act” and “sexual act.”
For the record, I totally disagree with those definitions as I firmly believe that they should be called what they are, RAPE!
40-years-old DAVID LEE (pictured) is facing charges after he was caught on CCTV “performing a sex act” on a defenseless seagull, reports The Mirror.
The incident happened on August 18, 2022, in an alleyway in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, at 1:00 a.m. The Mirror reports that LEE “was caught pleasuring himself while kneeling over a helpless seagull in a bizarre sex act”, “while watching pornography on his mobile phone.”
METRO reports that on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, LEE, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court where he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the bird and “pleaded guilty to carrying out a sexual act involving a herring gull.”
In CCTV footage shown in court, LEE can be seen kneeling down with the helpless seagull between his legs in a narrow passageway near Gladstone Street. The sickening video goes on to show LEE “pulling his pants off and appearing to masturbate with the bird close to his groin area while watching pornography on his phone”, reports METRO. After raping the innocent seagull, LEE can be seen kicking his victim away and walking off.
Describing the video evidence seen in court, prosecutor Lesley Burgess said: “The second piece of footage sees the defendant chasing the same bird down the road. ‘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.”
Northumbria Police arrested LEE after the incident at a nearby takeaway. LEE told officers that he had picked up the seagull because he thought the bird was injured and was searching on his cell phone for how to help. However upon examination of the device, police learned that LEE in fact searched for porn sites and not for a vet or the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).
Sunderland Echo reports that LEE “was originally charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a herring gull by placing his penis in its mouth, to which he had pleaded not guilty.”
In the United Kingdom, all wild birds including gulls, their eggs and nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
At the hearing, LEE’s defense attorney, Annalisa Moscardini, said: “These are bizarre circumstances. He can’t explain his actions. Mr. Lee doesn’t recall the incident. There’s a history of mental health and some disorders.” She then told magistrates she is seeking a psychiatric report for LEE to be prepared ahead of sentencing.
According to The Mirror, Chairman of the Bench, Fay Gilbert, told LEE: “The word ‘bizarre’ has been used on more than one occasion. ‘I have to say that, as experienced magistrates, it is one of the most unusual cases we have come across in the magistrates’ court. We do find this to be a deliberate or gratuitous attempt to cause suffering to an animal, or shall we say, a bird, and therefore we feel that a psychiatric report would be most appropriate in this case.”
Ms. Anna Malia, founder of North East Animal Rights - NEAR, was at the hearing this past Tuesday. Outside of the court she told Sutherland Echo: “It sends a clear message that animals are innocent and humans are not superior.”
She also added: “We want to send a message to those of you who think it is acceptable to hurt wildlife – we will find you and we will pursue you through the legal system, with all the publicity that may bring. All incidents of cruelty will be taken seriously and will not be tolerated. Whatever your opinion is on wildlife – in this case a red-listed protected species – our advice to you is leave them alone”.
LEE is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23, 2023.
Prosecutor Burgess said her office will ask for an order preventing LEE from “owning” animals.
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LEE’s pictures were shared from The Mirror.