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Thieves who stole hawk from Skipton aviary spared jail
1:59pm Thursday 25th October 2012 in News
Two men who bundled a valuable bird of prey out of its locked aviary hidden under a coat have been spared immediate prison sentences.
The Harris Hawk, Rocky, who was stolen from his aviary in the Shortbank Road area of Skipton on January 24, was found safe and well in a bedroom in Lancaster, Bradford Crown Court heard on Thursday.
Zachary Robinson-O’Connor, 25, of Barley Cop Lane, Lancaster, and Robert Macintyre, 26, of Heysham Road, More-cambe, pleaded guilty to burgling the aviary and stealing the 16-year-old bird, worth £500. The court heard that the men, who had a van, were seen bundling Rocky along hidden inside a coat.
The defendants were arrested when the bird was recovered by the police in an unrelated inquiry.
He was reunited with his owner using the identity tag on his leg.
Macintyre went on to steal a falcon hood from the Yorkshire Falconry Centre at Giggleswick.
He was sentenced for that offence in March when Skipton magistrates imposed a 12-month community order.
Judge Neil Clark told Macintyre and Robinson-O’Connor: “Stealing a living thing is something that causes great distress to the owner of the animal and there is a risk that the animal can also suffer distress.”
He said it was a targeted burglary. The defendants travelled into Yorkshire to steal the bird and used bolt-cutters to break into the aviary.
Both men were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Macintyre, who pleaded guilty sooner, was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £75 costs.
Robinson-O’Connor, whose case was listed for trial at the crown court, was ordered to carry out 210 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 costs.