Brazen thief jailed for stealing a dozen budgies from Leith home

Anne Ferguson -  'Someone broke into her flat on Montgomery Street and stole some of her flock of 34 budgies. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
Anne Ferguson - 'Someone broke into her flat on Montgomery Street and stole some of her flock of 34 budgies. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
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A CALLOUS thief smashed his way into a woman’s home with a hammer – and made off with a dozen budgies.

Mohammed Rahman stole the beloved pets and a cage owned by Anne Ferguson after breaking into her Leith home earlier this year.

The shocked pet owner then began her own hunt for her birds and came across Rahman sitting nearby with two of the birds perched on his neck.

He denied the birds were hers and then began helping Ms Ferguson look for her stolen budgies.

Ms Ferguson soon found her discarded birdcage that had been taken from her home with one of the birds still inside it.

Rahman then asked the woman to look after the two birds he had with him and handed the feathered pets over.

The bizarre tale was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today where Rahman appeared from custody and pleaded guilty to the theft on April 20 this year.

Rahman also admitted a second charge of stealing cash and jewellery from an 88-year-old woman the following day.

Prosecutor Bruce McCrossan told the court Ms Ferguson heard a noise within her home at around 2.15pm.

The fiscal said: “She went to investigate and found her living room window open. She saw her 12 birds and a birdcage were missing.”

He said Ms Ferguson found a hammer in the front garden and after calling in police she decided to investigate the matter herself.

Ms McCrossan added: “She came across the accused and he had two birds sitting on his neck.

“The accused was helpful and said the birds were his. He then helped her search for the stolen birds.”

The pair then found the discarded birdcage with one bird still alive inside.

Rahman, 37, then handed over the two birds he had to the woman to look after for him.

The following day Rahman turned up at an “elderly and vulnerable” pensioner’s home and conned his way inside after telling her he was diabetic and needed help.

Once inside the thief produced a budgie from his pocket as a gift for the OAP before leaving the property with cash, jewellery and bank cards belonging to her.

Defence lawyer Charles Sharkey said his client was currently serving a sentence for analogous matters and had taken to drugs following the break up of his marriage.

Mr Sharkey added Rahman is now dealing with his addiction in prison and he has reconciled with his parents but not his wife and is currently an inmate of Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow.

The brief added: “He is under no illusion as to the seriousness of this matter and the ultimate disposal.”

Sheriff Norman McFadyen told Rahman he had committed “a bizarre” offence and jailed him for 12 months.

He added: “These were particularly mean offences and your behaviour when you came upon the crime was bizarre. Your conduct towards the pensioner was deplorable.”

Rahman admitted to breaking into a flat at Montgomery Street and stealing a quantity of birds and a birdcage. He also admitted stealing cash, jewellery and bank cards from a property at Hillside Street.