Bath’s Pigeon Man is back doing his act just 10 days after telling magistrates that even a prison sentence wouldn’t stop him feeding the birds.
Paul Charlton appeared at Bath Magistrates’ Court on December 19 having been convicted of three charges of failing to comply with a community protection notice ordering him to stop feeding pigeons.
Despite the court threatening him with a £2,500 fine, Charlton was back today (December 29) by the Pump Room in the centre of Bath, balancing pigeons on his arms, head and shoulders and offering members of the public a chance to pose for photos with his winged friends.
He told the Bath Chronicle: “This has been my job for the past four years. It is how I pay my rent and my bills. I make a living out of it.
“It’s my occupation whether people want to see it as an occupation or not.
“It makes people happy.”
The 42-year-old is fighting an attempt by Bath and North East Somerset Council to stop him performing.
At court for what was meant to be Charlton’s sentencing hearing on December 19, a barrister acting on behalf of B&NES Council argued the defendant’s act caused “quite a lot of inconvenience” to cafés in the centre of Bath.
Carrie-Ann Evans told the court: “Essentially the notice asked him [Charlton] to stop giving grain to members of the public to feed the pigeons and stop giving grain to the birds himself.
“This is causing quite a lot of inconvenience for neighbouring cafés who have birds flying onto their stock
“As a result quite a large amount of stock has to be thrown away.”
But today Charlton told the Bath Chronicle the city has a pigeon problem without him and that his act can be good for business.
“One of the cafes says it is good for business and the other says it is bad for business,” he said.
“If they leave food out on the tables, they are going to have a pigeon problem anyway.”
When Charlton appeared in court he told magistrates: “You can put me in prison for as long as you like but when I come out I will go back and feed the pigeons.
“I’m being treated like a criminal here and I haven’t done anything wrong.
“I have done what I have been asked to do by the Government.”
His case was adjourned until January 23 pending the preparation of a psychiatric report. Charlton was granted unconditional bail until then.
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