A bear has been found guilty by a court of stealing honey from a beekeeper.

The animal was convicted of theft by the court in Bitola, in Macedonia, following a year-long case.

However, he was excused from attending court.

The case came after a beekeeper reported the bear for stealing his honey.

He told the court he had to protect his hives by playing thumping folk music.

Beekeeper Zoran Kiseloski told the court: "I tried to distract the bear with lights and music because I heard bears are afraid of that."

He said he bought a generator, lit up the area and played songs by the Serbian turbo-folk star Ceca.

The court heard the bear stayed away for a few weeks but returned when the generator ran out of power and the music stopped.

"It attacked the beehives again," Kiseloski said.

The court found the bear guilty, but since it had no owner and is a protected species it ordered the state to pay for the 140,000 denars (USD $3,545) damage it caused to the hives.

There is no information on the bear's whereabouts.