A woman who killed and ate her daughter’s pet hamster on camera now faces 12 months of jail time for her “abhorrent” actions.
Emma Parker, the 39-year-old mother from Lincolnshire, England, claims she was on Class A drugs at the time, to which she was addicted. In the UK, these are considered the most harmful substances, including heroin, meth, and crack cocaine.
It was this addiction, she said, which caused her to dissect and eat the pet hamster, then post the disturbing videos of the incident on social media. The judge, however, still handed down a one-year jail term, describing the act as “abhorrent.”
The footage, posted to Facebook in May 2022, shows Parker mercilessly killing her daughter’s pet hamster. In the background, those filming the gruesome scene laugh. Parker refused to name those filming and laughing, as she claimed “they are not nice people” in police interviews.
“The two videos seen on social media showed the defendant with a hamster in a hamster ball,” prosecutor Gordon Holt told the court in Lincolnshire, England, per The Sun. “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.”
In the background, a spectator clearly says, “You are a sick bastard, you are,” while laughing, Holt added.
Veterinarian in Shock at Disturbing Death of Pet Hamster
During the trial, a veterinarian watched the grisly footage, describing it as deeply disturbing. The pet hamster, named Mr. Nibbles, she added, would have suffered intense physical and psychological harm in the process. Like any species of wildlife or pet, hamsters experience intense fear when threatened.
The veterinarian reportedly testified that she had never heard a hamster squeal in pain and terror as Mr. Nibbles did in her entire three-decade career.
After the footage hit social media, it didn’t take long for a distraught viewer to contact the RSPCA. There was little doubt of the savage nature of the videos, instantly sparking an investigation.
When questioned by police, Parker admitted to killing and eating the pet hamster. She claimed she was “helping” the hamster, however, as it had recently been attacked by one of her dogs.
Ultimately, Judge James House KC charged Parker with one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. She came very close to getting a lengthier sentence as well. Parliament recently increased the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years.
In addition to her jail sentence, the judge banned Parker from keeping animals for 15 years. “The hamster was injured at least twice and then while still alive cut in half,” he said, calling her cruelty toward the pet hamster “as serious as could be.”