THE RSPCA has applauded an Ipswich magistrate's decision to send a man who disembowelled a pet bird to prison.
Daniel William Bradow was yesterday sentenced to two months in jail for animal cruelty, stealing and trespass following a disturbing incident at an Ipswich takeaway business.
The court heard Bradow, 24, was attempting to break into the Old Miner's Diner at Ebbw Vale on July 2, but instead decided to steal a five-year-old grey cockatiel, Jo Jo, which was kept at the back of the business.
As Jo Jo's married owners appeared and realised what was happening, Bradow stuffed the bird under his jacket, breaking its beak, wing and leg. He then pulled out the bird and swung it at the couple - pulling out its tail feathers and internal organs in the process.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Jo Colston said the bird had to be euthanised because of its injuries.
Magistrate Michael Quinn said Bradow's actions were "bizarre" but that any charge involving animal cruelty was serious.
"Your actions were bizarre but nonetheless they are serious," Mr Quinn said.
"Your previous criminal history is a serious history, showing lengthy periods of breaches of the law, community-based orders and suspended sentences."
RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the outcome was a step in the right direction for animal rights.
"It is very rare for a prison sentence to be handed down in animal cruelty cases," Mr Beatty said. "To have the person spend some time inside shows the magistrate treated the whole issue of animal cruelty seriously and is encouraging to be honest."
The owners of the bird, Paul and Beki McCrindle, yesterday told the QT they were devastated about the loss of Jo Jo.
"He was a part of the family," Mrs McCrindle said.
"We adopted him from an F-111 pilot. The pilot was a customer of ours and after he moved on from Amberley he asked us to take care of him.
"But then this happened. I just don't understand why.
"I hope this man learns a lesson - you'd like to think there's still good in people."
Defence barrister Barrie Marais said his client, a boilermaker and father of four, had accepted responsibility for the act.
"He was intoxicated and never had any intention of hurting it," Mr Marais said.
Mr Quinn sentenced Bradow to two months in prison to be suspended after one month for an operational period of 12 months.
He was ordered to pay $70 in restitution to the bird's owners.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.