Student fined for decapitating pigeon
St.Andrews student decapitates pigeon in drunken evening.
An extremely peculiar but nevertheless regrettable incident involving a St. Andrews’ student last September has come to light this week. Fourth year Jonathan Leslie was fined £750 and banned from driving for a year after ripping off a pigeon’s head.
Leslie, who studies Geoscience and French, was caught on CCTV by staff at Abbey Park House Mansion in Fife, where he and a group of friends ended up after a boozy evening. Although the court was told that Leslie had spent the evening watching the Proms after drinking wine with his dinner, he was found to be drunk while driving by police later that evening with the decapitated bird in the foot well of his car.
The court was further told that the visit to the mansion by Leslie and his friends was due to being “interested in the architecture.” However, arresting officer Brian Robertson told the court that when there:
“without warning the accused was seen to seize hold of a pigeon that had taken flight as a result of being disturbed. He then pulled the head from the bird, causing its instant death.”
The bizarre nature of the case was then compounded by the revelation that Leslie bragged to his friends that he was going to eat the decapitated head “to stop it going to waste.”
One St. Andrews’ student told their student paper The Stand that she found it “unbelievable that a human being would inflict this kind of torture on a living animal and attribute it to drunken antics. Disgusting”, with a fellow third year student adding: “I know that there’s not much to the St Andrews night life, but really?”
However, the official statement from Leslie’s lawyer Gregor Kelly provided an even more intriguing insight: “He had taken a leave of absence from university last year due to certain mental health difficulties.”
“On this night he was visiting friends for a social visit…He admits he was exceptionally nervous at going to meet these friends given his difficulties and because his graduation was not a formality, while his friends had graduated.”
“He wanted to impress upon them that he was doing well.” Nothing like wine and the Proms to break the ice. Or headless pigeons.
Mr Kelly further said: “He’s a man of his own tastes – somewhat eccentric in his dress sense. He’s a one-off. He was petrified of birds and they took flight and Mr Leslie caught one. It was an impulsive act. He deeply regrets the suffering he caused to the bird and hopes the events of this sorry evening don’t impinge on his future career.”