Exotic parrot entertains passengers on Sydney train
Passengers on a Sydney commuter train got a surprising sight when a colorful macaw was seen bobbing and weaving as it perched on a seat. (Remy Crompton-Lamb via Storyful)
A pair of women in the U.K. have been sentenced to months in prison for torturing and killing a friend’s parrot after a night of drinking.
Tracy Dixon, 47, and Nicola Bradley, 35, were found guilty of “sadistically” torturing an African grey parrot named Sparky until the bird died, according to local reports.
“You together sadistically tortured and essentially killed Sparky,” Carlisle Crown Court Judge Richard Archer told the women last month, according to SWNS News.
“The way in which suffering was caused to that animal is shocking,” he added. “It involved spraying her with cleaning products; it involved daubing paint on her; and it involved hitting her with a tea towel.”
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Tracy Dixon was sentenced to 25 months behind bars after being found guilty of torturing and killing a parrot. (SWNS News)
The incident reportedly unfolded in July 2022 in the city of Carlisle. The two women went out drinking on the evening of July 30, and Sparky’s owner, identified as their friend, Paul Crooks, picked the women up and allowed them to stay as guests at his home in the city.
The women reportedly continued drinking once they reached Crooks’ home at about 5:30 a.m. while Crooks went to bed. He awoke hours later and found his shaving cream had been sprayed over Sparky’s cage, The Guardian reported. He reportedly instructed the women to leave the bird alone and left the home to run errands.
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Nicola Bradley was sentenced to 25 months behind bars after being found guilty of torturing and killing a parrot. (SWNS News)
He returned to his house later that day and found his beloved bird dead and the women wearing his clothing.
Dixon and Bradley reportedly tortured the bird by covering her in furniture and metal polish, as well as gloss paint, and hit the animal with a towel, according to prosecutors. The pair were also accused in court of trying to feed Sparky to Crooks’ dog before throwing her into a dryer that had been turned on.
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The pair reportedly opened the dryer door and found the parrot was “gasping” its last breath, according to The Guardian. One of the women then snapped the bird’s neck.
An African grey parrot homed at an animal sanctuary. (Leonard Ortiz / Digital First Media / Orange County Register via Getty Images / File)
“It involved placing her in a tumble drier and turning it on, and it involved, once the door to the tumbler drier was opened and Sparky was gasping for her last breath, one of you ringing her neck,” Archer told the duo in court, according to SWNS.
Both of the women denied causing unnecessary suffering to the bird during their trial and blamed each other for the crime, The Guardian reported.
The women were sentenced to 25 months in prison each and are forbidden from owning animals indefinitely. African grey parrots are facing risks of extinction due to poaching, according to the Zoological Society of London’s website.
African grey parrots are facing risks of extinction due to poaching, according to the Zoological Society of London’s website. (Reuters / James Akena / File)
Crooks has meanwhile grieved the loss of his bird, who he said would entertain his friends with renditions of “God Save the Queen” and theme songs for TV shows “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale.” He has suffered panic attacks and sleepless nights following the bird’s death, according to SWNS.
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“In terms of not having Sparky around anymore, it’s not been the same without her,” he said. “The house is so quiet without her now, and she’s been a huge miss.”