A BIRD trapper caught red-handed has been fined £250 after pleading guilty to attempting to snare highly-protected wild creatures.
Scarborough magistrates also confiscated the cage trap used by 51-year-old James Vincent and ordered him to pay £43 costs.
Vincent, from Peverel, in Essex, who spends the majority of the summer months in North Yorkshire, was caught in the act by North Yorkshire Police on April 15.
His illegal activities took place near a lay-by off the A170 near Snainton, between Scarborough and Pickering.
Wildlife crime officer PC Graham Bilton spotted Vincent while on patrol.
In a nearby tree at the top of a ladder was a twin-chambered cage, with a spring-operated trap door.
Within the cage’s second chamber he saw a live finch-like bird, which was later identified as a legally-held captive linnet.
PC Bilton said: “The purpose of the trap and bird is to attract other wild birds of the same species drawn by the visual presence and singing of the captive call bird’ inside.
“It is important that those responsible for committing wildlife crimes are brought to justice.
“These crimes have a dramatic impact on the local fauna and flora, yet they often go unreported and are difficult to investigate.
“It is extremely important that members of the public contact the police immediately if they are witness to or have information about possible wildlife crime.”