Man who stole four birds jailed for 10 months

Bird enthusiast Mohammed Ali, who stole four birds worth more than $6,000 from a sanctuary, was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Bird enthusiast Mohammed Ali, who stole four birds worth more than $6,000 from a sanctuary, was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Wednesday. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A bird enthusiast who stole four birds worth more than $6,000 from a sanctuary was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Wednesday.

Mohammed Ali, 31, admitted housebreaking and theft of a greenwing macaw, an African grey, a dusky-headed conure and a sun conure at Mandai Birds Sanctuary on Lorong Lada Hitam on Nov 27 last year.

Two other charges of breaking into the same sanctuary in March this year and stealing nine birds worth more $38,000 were considered during sentencing.

A district court heard that Mohammed, a bird enthusiast and trainer, had seen the birds on a visit to the nursery and decided to steal them because he could not afford to buy them.

At about 3am, he entered the compound through a hole in the fence, tore open the mosquito net in the bird nursery and took the birds from their containers and cages.

Mohammed gave the macaw to his cousin, who had been waiting outside in a car, and took the other three home.

He was arrested on March 21 this year. The macaw and dusky-headed conure were recovered and returned to the manager of the bird sanctuary - but the other two birds flew away.

Mohammed's offer to make restitution of $6,000 was rejected, the court heard.

His lawyer Louis Joseph successfully applied for his client to start his sentence on Dec 10.

Last month, Abdul Muthalib was fined $6,000 for dishonestly receiving stolen property.