Man jailed for microwaving hamster
An unemployed construction worker who microwaved his favourite hamster to death has been jailed for nine weeks.
Anthony Parker, 29, of Holyrood Way, Hartlepool, Teesside, was banned from keeping animals for five years by magistrates in the town.
When police came to his home in the early hours of February 23, he admitted putting his pet in the cooker after a drunken row with his girlfriend.
The court heard he told officers: "I didn't mean to kill her. She was the best hamster I ever had. She was called Suzie."
Parker shook his head as he was led away from the dock at Hartlepool Magistrates' Court in handcuffs.
Chairman of the bench Barbara Sutherland told him the starting point had been 12 weeks but that was reduced to nine because of his guilty plea. "You will serve half in prison and the rest on licence," she told him.
Parker admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Syrian hamster by microwaving it, resulting in its death.
Neil Taylor, prosecuting, said the animal had been killed in a cruel way. Parker had been drinking all day and when his girlfriend came home, they rowed. The defendant told police he had not meant to kill Suzie, but admitted putting her in the cooker.
He said he wanted his lover to see the pet. He later said he had no recollection of events.
Officers found Suzie in a green wheely bin outside. "It was clear the hamster died in agony," Mr Taylor said. The animal's lips were burned and its eyes were opaque.