A 56-year-old Seaton man armed himself with a hockey stick and killed a seagull after mating birds kept him awake, a court heard.
Mark Tims, of Harepath Road, then put the herring gull in a bin liner and stood on it, magistrates were told.
Michaela Rose, defending Tims, said: “Gulls are a problem where he lives.”
She said he was suffering from sleep deprivation and had only had four hours on the day in question in July this year.
Miss Rose added: “Emotionally he did lose it. He committed an act out of character.
“I accept he hit the gull with the hockey stick. I don’t accept it was pre-planned and he deliberately got the hockey stick and enticed the birds to his property.”
Probation officer Andrew Olley said Tims, who lives alone in Seaton, was shielding during the coronavirus lockdown and at home 24/seven.
He told the court:”The gulls were mating and making a considerable noise, disturbance and mess from dawn until dusk. It does not excuse his actions.”
Tims was ‘so embarrassed about it’ he had not told all his family what he had done, but was full of remorse and said it was a one-off out of character action, the court heard.
“He is totally ashamed. He is a very shaken man,” added the probation officer.
Tims admitted the charge and has led a blameless life with no previous convictions.
The JPs ordered him to attend six rehab days and pay £428 in costs on top of his suspended jail sentence.