Landed with an Asbo, the Prada-loving Pigeon Lady of Pimlico: She's banned from feeding the birds near her �750,000 home

    Nadia Lee patrolled streets near her home for 25 years

    She scattered seed for pigeons and treated sick birds

    Neighbours said her behaviour caused health hazard

By Rebecca Evans and David Wilkes
UPDATED: 22 December 2011

For 25 years, Nadia Lee has patrolled one of London's most exclusive boroughs, pushing a deluxe pram laden with tubs of grain.

She scattered the seed to attract pigeons, then netted any injured specimens.

Those she could not treat on the spot, she gently put in her Gucci and Prada handbags to take back to her �750,000 Georgian maisonette in Pimlico, London, for a spot of homeopathy.

But some of Miss Lee's neighbours were furious about their homes and cars being plastered in pigeon droppings, while there were claims her activities attracted rats and amounted to a health hazard.

On a mission: Nadia Lee with a rescued pigeon near her home in Pimlico, London.

On a mission: Nadia Lee with a rescued pigeon near her home in Pimlico, London.

Yesterday, the bird-lover's wings were clipped when she received an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, applied for by Westminster Council, preventing her from feeding birds in her local area for the next three years.

Privately educated Miss Lee, 64, has been dubbed the 'Pigeon Lady of Pimlico'. A former secretary and pilot's daughter, she was known for her elegance and used to drive a Rolls-Royce.

However, her mother's death over two decades ago had a profound effect on her lifestyle and she became a self-styled 'bag lady', going through bins. It was at around this time that she began to devote her days to tending to pigeons.

She looked bewildered yesterday at Westminster Magistrates' Court as a prosecutor condemned her 'prolific pigeon-feeding'.

Gillian Crew said it had caused 'distress, alarm and harassment to her neighbours', adding: 'Although she clearly loves animals, we ask that she gives the same sort of consideration to her neighbours.'

Seven residents and two council officials appeared in court to testify against Miss Lee, complaining that they were unable to enjoy the roof terraces and gardens of their multi-million pound homes because of pigeon droppings. Some claimed that she has even 'inspired a group of copycat feeders'.

One neighbour, Austen Iverleigh, said: 'She generates squalor on an industrial scale.

Upmarket: Miss Lee's �750,000 Georgian home which she has patrolled for a quarter of a century

Upmarket: Miss Lee's �750,000 Georgian home which she has patrolled for a quarter of a century

'Whenever I have spoken to her, she has been very polite and I am sure that in any other respect, she is a very nice and reasonable person.

'The problem is the feeding of pigeons on a huge scale, which causes serious disturbance to those around her. I have seen rats in her basement.'

But Miss Lee, who grew up in Egypt, said: 'It is nothing to do with the pigeons.

'People do not like seeing someone who was once successful and elegant turning into a bag lady.

'I was a functioning, normal tax-paying person until my 40s when my mother died. They used to see me driving a classic Rolls-Royce and wearing cashmere and heels and now they see me going through bins. They don't like it.'

She told the court she had been feeding birds all of her life as she 'hates to see suffering of any kind'.

She added: 'You cannot rescue pigeons without putting down seed and getting them all together. I then catch them in a net, which I carry with me everywhere I go.

'Then I put them in Gucci bags hanging off my Mamas & Papas pram. I take them home and take the string off their feet, rub them in lavender and treat them with homeopathy.

'If they are too injured, I take them to a pigeon sanctuary. I love them and they depend on me because I have raised them all their lives.'

Many residents have lauded her activities, recognising her services to wildlife

Richard Paton-Philip, defending, said that 95 local residents had signed a petition supporting her and that she was being targeted for her 'eccentric nature'.

He added: 'Many residents have lauded her activities, recognising her services to wildlife.'

But District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe said: 'Miss Lee clearly has a great affinity for birds and she should be allowed to continue to feed them but in an appropriate place such as a park.

'I see people feeding pigeons when I walk through St James's Park, and I have to say, I find the sight rather endearing. But pigeon-feeding on this scale and in this street is not acceptable.'

After the Asbo was granted, Miss Lee said: 'It is such an injustice. They will all die now that I can't help them. Tending to pigeons is the most important thing in my life, it's my reason for living and I've been doing it for 25 years.

'I don't understand why people hate pigeons. They are so brave and clever -- 32 were given medals for gallantry during the Second World War. I will try to appeal. Asbos were designed to stop yobs from causing trouble, not to stop a pensioner from throwing a bit of bird seed.'

A dossier compiled by the council contained surveillance photographs and a diary detailing 38 sightings of Miss Lee feeding the birds in the six months before an interim Asbo was made in September.

Conditions of the Asbo include banning Miss Lee from feeding the pigeons in the streets around her home in Pimlico or assisting anyone else to do so, and stopping her putting water in a little ditch near her house for them to bathe in.

After the two-day hearing, Judge Roscoe ruled that Miss Lee would not have to pay any court costs as her only income is a state pension.

Last year Christine Foreman was given an Asbo by Croydon magistrates after neighbours complained the constant 'cooing and fluttering of wings' made their lives 'a living hell'.

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