A £120 fine for a man whose dog killed a swan is a “totally inadequate punishment”, wildlife experts say.

Alan Goodman, of Overton Drive, Wanstead, was fined after a hearing at Thames Magistrates Court on Thursday (September 29) where he was convicted of “worrying a swan”.

The exact charges stated that Mr Goodman as a “person in charge of a dog, worried livestock, namely a swan” at the Heronry Pond in Wanstead Park on March 10.

But volunteers at The Swan Sanctuary have hit out at the “lenient” charges, after it transpired Mr Goodman’s dog was the same one that killed a swan on the day in question.

Laurent Howes who volunteers for The Swan Sanctuary locally was called to the Heronry Pond to try to save the swan.

He said: “It was pretty badly injured when I picked it up, it had bite wounds on its neck and body.

“Sadly it died a couple of hours later.

“It really annoys me when dog owners have the whole park to walk their dogs in and they chose to let them near the water where the swans are.

“The swan had found a mate, so it was very sad and unnecessary that it was killed.”

Mr Goodman was prosecuted under the Protection of Livestock Act (1953), but Mr Howes believes the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) should have been used to impose a harsher penalty.

He added: “I am surprised he didn’t get more.

“Swans are listed as protected birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which you can a £5,000 fine for or six months in prison.

“Perhaps the sentence should have been greater, then it would have sent the message out that swans are protected birds and you can’t just do what you want with them.”

Swan Secretary trustee Steven Knight agreed Mr Goodman was “lucky to have got away so lightly”.

He claims he should have been prosecuted for criminal damage to crown property and believes park managers City of London Corporation were “irresponsible” to leave water levels so low that the dogs could get to the swan.

His colleague Gill Walker, from Chingford, added: “£120 is a totally inadequate punishment in my opinion.

“When CoLC lowered the water levels to try and get rid of a dangerous weed they should have made greater efforts to protect the swans.”

A spokesman for the corporation said it has a “zero tolerance approach” to wildlife crime.

They said: “We are pleased magistrates have upheld this successful prosecution, but as always sentencing and the level of fines is a matter for the courts.

“We urge people to keep their dogs under control near wildlife, especially where water levels are low.”