An 18-year-old male has been banned from owning animals after being convicted at court for animal cruelty offences.
Northumbria Police pursued a case against Aaron Ray after he fatally injured his family’s pet bird in what has been described as a ‘barbaric attack’.
Ray left the cockatiel with catastrophic injuries after plunging a knife into the back of its neck during a fit of rage earlier this year.
Police have now condemned Ray’s “cruel” actions after pursuing a criminal prosecution against the teenager.
Officers found the deceased animal after attending an address in South Hylton on the evening of 11th January this year following a report of a disturbance.
When quizzed by officers, Ray insisted “it’s just a bird, it’s not a crime”.
Now Ray, of Mayfield Road, Sunderland, has been convicted at court after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when he appeared before magistrates in South Tyneside on 11th June.
He returned to the same court on Friday (26th June) where he received a 12-week sentence suspended for one year. Ray was also handed a 15-year ban from owning animals.
PC Peter Baker, who works as a wildlife officer at Northumbria Police, says Ray’s conviction should act as a reminder that animal cruelty is a criminal offence and will not be tolerated.
PC Baker said:
“Aaron Ray showed a total disregard for the welfare of this bird and inflicted catastrophic injuries that it could not survive from.
“This kind of behaviour is not only reckless and upsetting but a criminal offence – and that’s the lesson that Ray now must learn.
“We are a nation of animal lovers, so it is upsetting to come across incidents such as this where the defendant has caused inevitable and unnecessary suffering to an animal.
“I hope this conviction acts as a serious lesson to others – anybody who causes unnecessary suffering to an animal could face criminal action and a possible jail term.”
Anyone who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress should contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.
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