Sick Hemel teen who tortured wood pigeon is handed suspended sentence

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A SICK teenager who admitted torturing a wood pigeon has been handed an 18-week suspended sentence and disqualified from keeping all animals for three years.

Ross Hardy, 19, of Spencer Way, Hemel Hempstead, tortured the bird by ripping out its feathers whilst it was alive.

He had pleaded guilty in an earlier hearing to an offence of causing unnecessary suffering and an offence of intentionally injuring the bird.

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Hardy was sentenced at West and Central Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court in St Albans on October 28.


Prosecutor Mark Jones said the RSPCA opened an investigation after being alerted to screenshots taken from social media of the defendant harming the bird.

The posts show the teenager standing on the bird and then pulling the feathers from its body while it was still alive. The bird was then seen in another post next to a fire.

Following the enquiries Hardy was traced and then interviewed. The bird was never recovered.

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Speaking after the case RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith said: “The bird would have suffered a tremendous amount of pain and suffering as a result of the defendant’s actions. It is really distressing to see an animal harmed in this way.

“I would like to thank all the people who came forward to report this incident to the RSPCA. I hope that this case acts as a reminder to anyone who sees animal cruelty to please report it to us and we will investigate it where we can.”

The defendant was sentenced to an 18-week suspended sentence for 18 months to run concurrently for each offence and was placed on a “thinking skills” programme for 10 days.

He was given a three-month curfew from 8pm to 6am and disqualified from keeping any animals for three years. He was ordered to pay £250 costs and £115 victim surcharge.

Hardy was also given a prohibited activity requirement to not be in possession of any sling shot or catapult and this will last for the duration of the suspended sentence of 18 months.