Cruel vandals skewer pigeons on fence

Billy Hornsey, whose allotment was also targeted by yobs in the attack, and the metal fence where pigeons were impaled
Billy Hornsey, whose allotment was also targeted by yobs in the attack, and the metal fence where pigeons were impaled

CHILDREN were confronted with a sickening sight on the way to school after pet pigeons were left impaled on a metal fence.

The birds’ owner said the young animals were “like kids” to him and branded the barbaric vandals “lower than scum”.

The bloodied bodies had been left in full view for youngsters to see as they walked past Chester Road allotments on the way to Jesmond Gardens Primary School, in Hartlepool, yesterday morning.

Yobs had ransacked at least two nearby plots on Thursday night, cruelly killing eight young pigeons and spiking two of them on top of an 8ft fence.

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The dead birds were still visible when the Hartlepool Mail interviewed Mr Hornsey, but we have decided not to show the horrific images so as not to cause further upset.

Their distraught owner, who did not want to be named, told the Mail: “The people who have done this are lower than scum. They have no thought for anyone else but themselves.

“The pigeons are the only thing that keep me going, especially the young chicks that I’ve hand reared. They’re like my kids and I live for them.

“I’m absolutely in bits, I don’t know what I’ll do now.”

Granddad Billy Hornsey, from Chatham Gardens, Hartlepool, was also devastated to find one of his chickens decapitated and flung on to the Grayfields recreation ground, while another is missing.

The 73-year-old retired industrial worker said: “They haven’t stolen a thing, all they have done is killed the animals. It’s scandalous.

“Why they would then stick animals on to a fence for everyone to see is beyond me. Children walk down here all the time.”

Katrina Irvine, 40, said she was horrified to see the pigeon carcasses when she visited her allotment yesterday.

She had fallen victim to yobs in August last year when they smashed up her plot and killed some of her prized chickens.

Mum-of-two Katrina, who works at Stranton Pets, in Hartlepool, is now calling for the path between Thornhill Gardens and Jesmond Gardens to be closed to the public.

Gates at either end currently get locked on a night but Katrina, who is married to wagon driver Ian, 44, wants it shutting permanently.

She said: “It’s good for children to walk through for school, but other than that it’s just used by dog walkers who don’t pick up their mess and people targeting the allotments.

“It needs to be closed all the time to stop this sort of thing happening again.”

Billy and Katrina were also appalled at how easily the intruders managed to break through a Hartlepool Borough Council fence surrounding the allotments that was only put up last year.

Katrina added: “They’ve just pulled it open.

“It’s not up to much at all. Half of the brackets aren’t even on properly.”

A council spokesman said: “We utterly condemn such barbaric behaviour and we would urge anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.

“We have an ongoing commitment to make the town’s allotment sites as secure as possible within the limited resources currently available to us and a lot of work has been carried out in conjunction with allotment holders and allotment associations.

“We have always worked closely with Chester Road Allotment Association and we note their comments with regard to the fence and the footpath. We intend to continue working with them to explore the options available for further improving the security of this site. “

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said an investigation is under way.

• Anyone with information about the killings is asked to ring Hartlepool Police on the non-emergency 101 number or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.