A MAN who admitted stealing a parrot and its cage had already sold the items "to make money for Christmas", a court heard.
Conor Grall (20) was charged with the theft last Thursday at Main Street, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath.
He also admitted damaging the cage which held Pixie, an African Grey, outside owner Paul Barr's photography shop.
The parrot is worth €1,500 and the cage €500, and while both were recovered the cage was damaged.
Mr Barr told gardai that if Pixie had not been found he would have died because of a skin disease.
When the case was called yesterday at Dunshaughlin District Court sitting in Navan, Judge Patrick McMahon asked Grall, of Portland Row, Dublin 1, if he had a solicitor.
Grall said he had not and added: "I plead guilty."
Garda Killian McAteer said the parrot "is well-known in Dunshaughlin", and last Thursday Grall had stolen it and its cage and "made off in a black car".
The car stopped a short while later "and I observed him jump back into the car after he abandoned the bird in a garden," said the officer.
Gardai arrested Grall and he "admitted he had it already sold to make money for Christmas".
Garda McAteer, who said the cage was badly damaged, told the court the theft had "caused a lot of mayhem in the town".
When the judge asked Grall why he had taken the bird, he said: "I don't know, judge."
The judge adjourned the case until next month as he wanted to have Mr Barr in court.