Cupar Sheriff Court heard that on 10 September, 2011, Jonathon Leslie, 24, was discovered with the headless bird after decapitating it at Abbey Park. The final year student was stopped by police on suspicion of drink driving.
The court heard how Leslie and his friends had been watching the Last Night of the Proms after drinking wine with dinner. They then decided to explore the derelict Abbey Park, once accommodation for St Leonard’s College students, because they were purportedly “interested in the architecture.”
The BBC reported that the court heard from Fiscal Depute Brian Robertson that “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. Police were contacted after security staff noticed the accused and others on CCTV.”
Robertson added, “The accused admitted responsibility for it and appeared to believe he had done nothing wrong. He smelled strongly of alcohol and had been driving.”
Leslie’s defence lawyer, Gregor Kelly, told the BBC: “It was an impulsive act. It was a moment of bravado and nothing more that he said he would eat it as it would have been a waste otherwise. 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.”
A University spokesman commented, “[Leslie’s] actions were utterly abhorrent. A disciplinary investigation is underway.”