Bird lover-turned-thief gets 10 months' jail
A BIRD enthusiast who stole four birds worth more than $6,000 from a sanctuary was sentenced to 10 months' jail yesterday.
Mohammed Ali, 31, admitted to housebreaking and the theft of a greenwing macaw, an African grey, a dusky-headed conure and a sun conure at Mandai Birds Sanctuary in Lorong Lada Hitam on Nov 27 last year.
Two other charges of breaking into the sanctuary in March and stealing nine birds worth more than $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 sanctuary's 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, Abdul Muthalib Abdul Rahim, who had been waiting outside in a car, and took the other three home.
He was arrested on March 21. The macaw and dusky-headed conure were recovered and returned to the manager of the sanctuary - but the other two birds had flown 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.