A teenager who plunged a knife into a pet cockatiel in a barbaric attack has been banned from keeping animals.
Aaron Ray, 18, flew into a rage and killed the bird at an address in South Hylton, Sunderland, in January.
Officers responded to reports of a disturbance and found the cockatiel dead, and Ray told them “it’s just a bird, it’s not a crime”.
Northumbria Police said Ray, of Mayfield Road, Sunderland, appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday and was handed a 12-week jail term, suspended for a year, after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
He was also banned from keeping animals for 15 years.
Wildlife officer Pc Peter Baker said: “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.”