A “callous” duck killer was given a suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of killing the animal in full view of passers-by, before dumping its body in a bin.

Last May Robert Muir, of Sandycombe Road, Kew, lured the female Mallard duck with food before grabbing it and breaking its neck near the riverside in Richmond.

Muir, 49, was caught on CCTV picking the helpless animal up a second time and twisting its neck again to make sure it was dead.

He then dumped its body in a nearby bin and left. He was arrested the next day.

Muir was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court today (February 10), and ordered to do a 20-day rehabilitation course and pay £415 in costs.

Detective Constable Sarah Bailey called it a “callous, random act of cruelty”.

Despite denying the offence he was found guilty at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court of one count of killing a wild Mallard duck.

Wild Mallard ducks are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Muir will be sentenced on Friday, February 10.

DC Bailey said: "Muir lured over a female Mallard duck with food in full view of members of the public.

“Ducks in Richmond are well accustomed to human interaction. Muir has used this to cruelly entice and kill this wild duck. There was no element of sport or necessity, but it was a callous, random act of cruelty.

“I hope today's verdict serves as a reminder that wild birds are protected and animal cruelty is unacceptable.”