A drug addict, Emma Parker who was seen in a video cutting up and eating her pet hamster called “Mr Nibbles” has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
The 39-year-old was seen in a 27-second viral footage forcing a large knife into a hamster ball containing the animal. She was also spotted holding a bottle of water before eating the two dissected halves of the hamster.
Gordon Holt, prosecuting at Lincoln Crown Court, said:
"The two videos seen on social media showed the defendant with a hamster in a hamster ball.
“The defendant is holding the ball with a knife in the other hand .
“She takes the knife and plunges it through the opening of the ball moving the knife from side to side.
“A spectator is heard laughing and says, ‘You are a sick bastard you are’.”
Footage of Parker, from Great Gonerby, Lincs, was sent to the RSPCA by a concerned member of the public.
During a police interview, Parker admitted the video was her and claimed she was helping the hamster to die after it had been bitten by one of her dogs earlier in the day.
Parker said the incident took place at her home in mid-May, but refused to name those filming the footage, telling police: “They are not nice people.”
A vet with 27 years experience who watched the footage described the content as deeply disturbing.
The Vet added that Mr Nibbles would have suffered both physical and psychological damage as hamsters are prey animals which can feel fear.
The vet also said that she had never heard a hamster squeal like Mr Nibbles did throughout her career.
Parker admitted one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. The court heard Parker had been made the subject of community orders in both 2021 and 2022 for offences of shoplifting, and had a long history of addiction to Class A drugs.
Passing sentence Judge James House KC told Parker he had to take into account that Parliament had recently raised the maximum sentence for such animal cruelty from six months to five years imprisonment.
Judge House said it was “abhorrent” that violence had been inflicted on a defenceless animal for others’ entertainment. He banned Parker from keeping animals for 15 years after telling her he regarded her cruelty as “serious as could be.”