Woman Sentenced to Jail for Killing and Eating Pet Hamster in UK

Emma Park­er, a 39-year-old woman from Great Goner­by, Lin­colnshire, has been sen­tenced to 12 months in jail for killing and eat­ing her pet ham­ster. She was filmed cut­ting the ani­mal with a knife while it was still alive, and the footage was cir­cu­lat­ed online, prompt­ing an RSPCA investigation.

Park­er admit­ted one charge of caus­ing unnec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to a pro­tect­ed ani­mal at Lin­coln Crown Court.

The court heard that Park­er was addict­ed to Class A drugs. A vet who watched the footage described it as deeply dis­turb­ing, and explained that the ham­ster, named Mr Nib­bles, would have suf­fered both phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age as ham­sters are prey ani­mals that can feel fear.

Dur­ing a police inter­view, Park­er claimed that she was help­ing the ham­ster to die after it had been bit­ten by one of her dogs. She refused to name those film­ing the footage, say­ing “they are not nice people.”

Pass­ing sen­tence, Judge James House KC took into account that Par­lia­ment had recent­ly raised the max­i­mum sen­tence for ani­mal cru­el­ty from six months to five years’ impris­on­ment. He described the vio­lence inflict­ed on the defence­less ani­mal for oth­ers’ enter­tain­ment as “abhor­rent,” and banned Park­er from keep­ing ani­mals for 15 years.

RSPCA inspec­tor Andy Bostock expressed his grat­i­tude to the police for their sup­port in the inves­ti­ga­tion and stat­ed that this type of cru­el­ty has no place in today’s society. 

He described the inci­dent as a heart­less and vicious attack on a defence­less ani­mal, which has been upset­ting and dis­turb­ing for every­one involved in the case.

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