Two women in the UK have been sentenced to months in prison after being found guilty of sadistically torturing and killing a friend’s pet parrot named Sparky following a night of drinking.
Tracy Dixon, 47, and Nicola Bradley, 35, were convicted of subjecting the African grey parrot to horrifying cruelty until it succumbed to its injuries, as reported in local news.
Carlisle Crown Court Judge Richard Archer condemned their actions, stating, “You together sadistically tortured and essentially killed Sparky. The way in which suffering was caused to that animal is shocking.” He described how the torture included spraying the parrot with cleaning products, daubing paint on her, and hitting her with a tea towel.
The disturbing incident occurred in July 2022 in the city of Carlisle. On the evening of July 30, the two women had gone out drinking, and Sparky’s owner, identified as their friend Paul Crooks, allowed them to stay as guests at his home in the city.
After arriving at Crooks’ home around 5:30 a.m., the women reportedly continued drinking while Crooks went to bed. When he awoke hours later, he discovered that his shaving cream had been sprayed over Sparky’s cage.
Crooks instructed the women to leave the bird alone and then left the house to run errands. Upon his return later that day, he found his beloved parrot dead, and the women were wearing his clothing.
During their trial, prosecutors revealed that Dixon and Bradley had subjected Sparky to horrific torture, including covering her in furniture and metal polish, gloss paint, and hitting her with a towel. They were also accused of attempting to feed Sparky to Crooks’ dog before placing her in a running tumble dryer. When they opened the dryer door, Sparky was gasping for her last breath, and one of the women snapped the bird’s neck.
Both women denied causing unnecessary suffering to the bird during their trial and shifted blame onto each other.
As a result of their actions, Dixon and Bradley were each sentenced to 25 months in prison and are prohibited from owning animals indefinitely.
African grey parrots like Sparky are facing the risk of extinction due to poaching, according to the Zoological Society of London’s website.
Meanwhile, Paul Crooks has been mourning the loss of his beloved pet, who used to entertain his friends with renditions of “God Save the Queen” and theme songs from TV shows. He has experienced panic attacks and sleepless nights following Sparky’s tragic death, describing how the absence of the parrot has left a significant void in his home.
“In terms of not having Sparky around anymore, it’s not been the same without her,” Crooks said. “The house is so quiet without her now, and she’s been a huge miss.”