August 2023

Two women jailed for torturing and killing pet parrot in Carlisle

Two women who tortured and killed a friend’s pet parrot during a lengthy drinking session have been jailed by a judge who described their cruelty as “beyond comprehension”.

Carlisle women Nicola Bradley, 35, and Tracy Dixon, 47, have each been given a 25-month custodial sentence after sadistically torturing and killing a friend’s African grey parrot.

The pair were collected from a night out by pal Paul Crooks, who took the women to his home at around 5.30am on July 30, 2022.

As the women carried on drinking, Mr Crooks went to bed. He woke at 8.30am to find his guests had messed around with shaving foam which had gone over the cage of the parrot, Sparky.

This was cleaned and, as he left his house to go shopping, he told the women to leave the bird alone.

But on returning home Mr Crooks found the women wearing his clothing with Sparky unresponsive and unrecognisable, her head hanging limply out of a cage.

After confronting the pair, he learned the parrot had been covered with Mr Muscle, Brasso, furniture polish, daubed in gloss paint, and also hit with a tea towel.

Attempts were also made to feed Sparky to Mr Crooks’ dog before the parrot was dumped into a tumble drier which was switched on.

Mr Crooks was told that Bradley had snapped Sparky’s neck with Dixon reporting the bird to be “gasping” when pulled from the drier.

But after police were alerted and the women were interviewed, they sought to blame each other for the shocking cruelty.

The women went on trial last month having denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal but were found guilty by city magistrates.

Mr Crooks had told the court that singing Sparky was a big hit with his friends, and used to belt out the national anthem plus theme tunes from Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Sentencing them, Judge Richard Archer said “You, together, sadistically tortured and essentially killed Sparky. It is frankly beyond comprehension how anyone could treat an animal in his way.”

Sentencing | 25-month custodial. Both were banned from owning or keeping animals indefinitely.