TWO teenage girls have appeared in court charged with intentionally damaging or destroying a swan’s nest next to the Leeds Liverpool Canal in the Bradford district.

Katie Mellor, 18, of Yeadon, and Davina Morrow, also 18, of Dockfield Place, Shipley, each face two allegations relating to an incident on July 2 when smashed eggs were found on a pathway.

They are accused of intentionally damaging or destroying the nest of a wild bird, namely a Mute Swan, at Dockfield Road, Shipley, while it was in use or being built, contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

The young women also face a further allegation of without lawful excuse, attempting to damage a Mute Swan to a value unknown belong to the Crown, intending to destroy or damage such property.


That offence, of attempted criminal damage valued at under £5,000, is contrary to the Criminal Attempts Act.

The teenagers sat together on seats outside the dock at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court for the short hearing this afternoon.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The damaged eggsThe damaged eggs

Mellor, in training shoes and a quilted jacket, with her hair in a topknot; and Morrow, dressed all in black with short hair, spoke only to confirm their names, addresses, dates of birth and nationality.

Fuad Arshad, the solicitor advocate representing both defendants, asked for the charges not to be put.

He said he needed to take instructions ahead of another hearing and requested an adjournment of two to three weeks.

Mr Arshad said the teenagers were both vulnerable and it was not appropriate to take pleas from them at their first appearance in court.

Charles McCrae, for the prosecution, did not oppose an adjournment.

“There is a significant amount of CCTV footage not served on the defence,” he said.

The defendants had been summoned to court by postal requisition.

They were told by the Chairman of the Bench to be back in court on the afternoon of Friday, November 8.

There was distress and outrage in Shipley when smashed eggs were discovered on a pathway near the nesting spot of the popular swans.

The incident was reported to West Yorkshire Police and investigated as an alleged wildlife crime.