A YOB who sparked outrage after he was filmed biting the head off a live chicken is a serving soldier, we can reveal today.
He has been named as Craig Briercliffe, 22, of Albert Street, Clayton-le-Moors.
And within hours of last week's Observer carrying details of the sick stunt hitting the streets, he was visited by police who gave him an £80 fixed penalty fine for disorder and criminal damage.
Briercliffe was videoed by laughing pals while he ripped his teeth through the bird's neck and spat its head out.
The footage caused uproar when it was put on website YouTube by one of the onlookers nicknamed Zagzam.
The bird is believed to have been stolen from the Sparth Manor pub, Clayton-le-Moors.
A police spokesman said: "Following expert advice from specialist departments, including CID and a number of local vets, we can confirm that the penalty notice was served.
"The man responsible is very remorseful for what he has done.
"This was a drunken and sick joke and we will be speaking to web administrators about the posting of inappropriate material on the website."
An Army spokesman said the regiment he had recently joined had been made aware of the situation and was investigating the matter.
When the Observer called at Briercliffe's home this week the door was opened by a man who identified himself as his brother Liam. He said his brother did not live there permanently and it "could be months" before he saw him again.
On a subsequent visit his mother answered the door and said he was serving in Iraq, a claim that was later denied by the Army.
A neighbour who did not wish to be named said: "I recognised him as soon as I saw it on YouTube.
"I had heard about it before as mobile phone footage was being passed around.
"I know people do different things but when I saw this I thought it was a bit rash.
"He is normally a quiet, timid person but when he is in the wrong crowd he will do anything for a laugh. I think he had had too much to drink."