Tagged man’s bird dilemma

A 75-year-old man objected to his tagging order because he wouldn’t be able to feed his pet canaries and labradors, Calderdale magistrates heard.

Francis Bostock, of Silverwood Walk, Pellon, Halifax, was charged with failing to comply with the requirements of a community order.

It included a curfew from 7 pm to 7 am imposed for using threatening words and assault and was due to run from May 23 to July 30.

But, when officers from G4S arrived at his home shortly before 7 pm on May 23 to fit an electronic tag Bostock was shocked to realise he would not be allowed into his garden.

Bostock told the officers he needed access to the 14 or 15 canaries in his garden aviary and also two labradors kept in an overnight pen.

The officers left and Bostock believed they would return once a variation order - allowing him into his garden - had been issued by the court.

But, before that happened G4S issued breach proceedings which blocked any variation application.

Mr Sabs Toor, prosecuting, said the bottom line was that Bostock failed to comply and there was no variation order.

Bostock said it wasn’t a case of him not wanting to comply and his only concerns were for his dogs, canaries and five grandchildren who regularly play in his garden.

“I thought I would have been able to go into the garden and not just have to stay in the house,” he said.

Chris Haddock, mitigating, said: “I find it bewildering that we are here. There has been a distinct absence of common sense.”

Magistrates found Bostock not guilty, however, until Monday he is confined to his property and possibly his 30-yard garden if the G4S electronic tagging equipment can extend that far.