A hunter shot a wild deer, bundled it into his car and slit its throat before boasting it had made "a good meal for 10".

Mian Shahid, 32, of Wattendon Road, Kenley, was spared jail for causing the "prolonged, painful and unnecessary death" of the young stag, which he snatched from a field in South Croydon and drove him alive in his car.

He was handed a suspended four-month jail term at Croydon Magistrates' Court after admitting killing the deer and causing it unnecessary suffering.

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Shahid bragged online that he had shot the deer twice, in the head and between the collar bones, with an air rifle in a field off Mitchley Avenue on December 23 last year.

Later that day he posted on the Facebook group Deer Stalkers International: "brought home alive then had to slit throat. Was a tasty meal for 10 people ;)".

Facebook users reported the post to the police, who were also contacted by a member of the public who witnessed Shahid putting the deer in his car.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's wildlife crime unit searched Shahid's house on February 18. He was charged with killing a deer under the Deer Act 1991 and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Police also seized air weapons and hunting gear from his house.

Shahid pleaded guilty to both charges and was given a four-month jail term, suspended for two years, yesterday. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

PC Ian Reeve, Croydon's wildlife crime officer said: "Shahid caused the deer he caught a prolonged, painful and unnecessary death. Ultimately, his boasting on the internet and reports from eagle-eyed members of the public helped us to catch him and bring him before a court."

Alyx Elliott, head of campaigns for the charity World Animal Protection UK, said: " Not only does it illustrate the diversity of urban wildlife crime, it also shows the shocking cruelty involved in the illegal poaching of wild animals.

"We hope that the conviction will act as a deterrent to those that might carry out this sort of wildlife crime.

"The public play an essential role in bringing wildlife criminals to justice and we urge others to always report anything suspicious to the police."