Two women who, during a marathon boozing session, tortured a friend’s pet parrot before murdering it, have been jailed for more than two years.
Judge Archer sentencing the pair told Carlisle Crown Court the crimes committed against the defenceless bird by Tracy Dixon, 47, and Nicola Bradley, 35, were “beyond comprehension”.
In a brutal attack, Sparky, an African female grey parrot, was sprayed with Mr Muscle oven cleaner and covered in gloss paint, before the two women attempted to feed her to a dog.
They then threw Sparky into a tumble dryer which was switched on.
Despite blaming each other for the cruelty, Judge Archer reflected that both had “together, sadistically tortured and essentially killed Sparky. It is frankly beyond comprehension how anyone could treat an animal in this way.”
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Each was sentenced to 25 months’ in prison at Carlisle Crown Court.
The court was told that Dixon and Bradley had been out on the town and were collected by their friend and owner of Sparky, Paul Crooks, on July 30 2022.
He took the two women to his home in Carlisle at around 5.30am and proceeded to go to bed as the woman continued their drinking session.
Mr Crooks woke up at around 8.30am to find that his guests had taken his shaving foam, spraying it around, including on Sparky’s cage.
He cleaned the foam off and told the women to leave his bird alone, as he left to go shopping.
He returned home to find the bird unrecognisable and unresponsive, with its head hanging out of its cage.
Mr Crooks confronted Dixon and Bradley, who by this point were wearing his clothes, and found out that they had covered Sparky with Mr Muscle, Brasso metal polish, furniture police and glossy paint. They’d also struck the parrot with a tea towel.
The court learned that the women attempted to feed Sparky to Mr Crook’s dog before putting it into a tumble dryer that was turned on.
Opening the door revealed the “gasping” bird. One of the women then wrung its neck.
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Both Carlisle women denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal during their trial last month, however city magistrates found them guilty.
Sparky was a happy and healthy creature before her unfortunate meeting with Dixon and Bradley and suffering their “sadistic behaviour”, according to prosecutor Daniel Bramhall.
On top of their prison sentences, both women were indefinitely banned from owning or keeping animals.
Bradley’s legal representative, Jack Troup, said that his client maintained her innocence.
In that context he said “that limits what I can say in relation to mitigation.”
Anthony Parkinson, Dixon’s lawyer, said his client had previously looked after animals in a loving fashion, however he added: “The two of them were in it together. They deserve the same sentence whatever that sentence might be.”
Sparky was a huge hit with his friends, according to Mr Crooks, who added that his pet could sing the National Anthem and the Coronation Street and Emmerdale theme tunes.
Mr Crooks said in his impact statement that he has suffered panic attacks and anxiety and has struggled to sleep following the horrendous episode.
He said: “In terms of not having Sparky around any more, it’s not been the same without her.
“The house is so quiet without her now and she’s been a huge miss.”
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