Pair jailed over lake poison ‘slaughter’

TWO pest control officers who killed a pensioner’s beloved pet dog and 90 wild birds with poison as a “prank” were both jailed for four months today.

Mark Page, 35, and Terrance Webb, 28, spent two lunch breaks laying down bread laced with the pesticide Ficam-W at Alexandra Lake, Wanstead Flats.

The pair wanted to see if the chemical – which they had stolen from their employer Newham Council – was capable of killing crows.

But after their “prank” the corpses of around 90 birds including coots, moorhens, pigeons, crows and geese were found by the park warden.

Jailing the pair, Judge Simon Wilkinson, said: “I am satisfied that on March 8 (this year) you both saw birds fall out of the trees and you realised just how toxic this pesticide was.

“What passes belief is that you should return the following day and do exactly the same thing.

“As a direct result of your crimes, nearly 90 wild birds were killed.

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“This slaughter took place at a lake to which the public had regular access.

Page and Webb were both also each fined �7,000 with four months imprisonment in default of payment.

Earlier prosecutor Helen Owen said Page and Webb had bought bread and water from a Tesco store before mixing them with the pesticide to concoct the lethal poison

“They decided they were essentially going to play a prank,” said the barrister.

Robert Meikle, mitigating for Page, said the defendant had since split with his fiancee, lost his home and at age 35 was back living with his parents - all as a result of the publicity surrounding the case.

Page, of Bexleyheath, Kent, and Webb, of Rush Green, Romford, both admitted two counts of using a pesticide without approval and two counts of theft.

PENSIONER’S FURY OVER ‘EVIL’ PAIR: See Thursday’s Ilford Recorder