Here’s one from the “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – And Right Into a Net” files: A Swedish man was just sentenced to almost two years in jail for– catching wild birds? Yep, almost 14,000 of them, according to his meticulous records.

From this story on

The 40-year-old Swedish bird enthusiast who caught more than 13,000 wild birds was sentenced on Monday to 18 months in prison for aggravated hunting crimes, animal cruelty, and violating Sweden’s protected species laws. “The verdict is clear and states that a serious crime has been committed.

It also shows that a serious crime leads to a serious sentence,” said prosecutor Christer Jarlas, who had argued for 2 years in prison. According to Jarlas, the man’s aviary obsession began as a simple hobby before spiralling out of control. He argued the man should be sentenced to two years in prison. “That is the penalty for this kind of aggravated crimes,” said Jarlas to news agency TT prior to the verdict. The 40-year-old is believed to have been hunting and catching birds since January 2005 until being caught in June 2010. He is also suspected of taking eggs and baby birds from nests. The man kept an extensive database which included notes of the 13,983 birds and eggs collected.

_The man’s defence lawyer Thomas Martinsson said his client admitted to hunting and protected species crimes, but that he feels the violations shouldn’t be considered severe. In most cases he released the birds after a short time. And one of the reasons behind catching the animals was that he wanted to save injured birds. “It was simply a hobby that got out of hand,” said Martinsson to TT.
A hobby that just got out of hand? Collecting Beanie Babies was a hobby that got out of hand. This dude is in serious need of a visit from Nurse Ratched…