A compulsive twitcher kept wild birds in cages inside his home after snaring them in professional traps.

Scott Henderson, 50, was found to be illegally trapping wild birds in his garden and keeping them in his bedroom.

RSPCA officers and police found goldfinches, a bullfinch and a greenfinch in Henderson's home in Swanley after a tip-off in June.

Henderson admitted three charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, including possession of the wild birds, at Medway Magistrates' Court.

The court heard he grew exotic plants in his back garden to attract the birds before capturing them in funnel traps, clap nets and cages.

Equipment used for 'bird-ringing' - tagging birds' legs with elastic bands after catching them - was also discovered at the wildlife enthusiast's home.

RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport said: "When we went upstairs, we found a bank of cages in a back bedroom.

"The cages contained a bullfinch, a greenfinch and five goldfinches, some of which appeared in poor condition.

"We also found bird-ringing paraphernalia.

"Outside, the garden was set-up with a variety of bird-trapping equipment, including cage traps, a funnel trap and clap nets.

"There were also seed patches - areas of the garden growing wild and sown with exotic plants used for feeding British birds - designed to lure in wild birds so they could then be easily trapped.

"We are very pleased this man has been brought to justice.

"The bench recognised the seriousness of the offence, describing it as 'horrendous and calculating."

Sgt Darren Walshaw of Kent Police's Rural Task Force, said: "The Rural Task Force worked alongside the RSPB and RSPCA to conduct a search warrant at Henderson's home in Swanley.

"At the property we found a number of birds being kept in cages and evidence of trapping of wild birds.

"The RSPCA put together a strong case which resulted in a guilty plea at court."

Henderson was placed on a three month curfew and has to be at home between 8pm and 8am each day.

He was also ordered to pay £300 costs.