An 81-year-old pensioner from Sevenoaks has been given a 70-day suspended prison sentence after using her pet parrot as a ‘weapon’. Cartherine Searle began her ‘reign of terror’ after a parking row with neighbours Paul and Lydia Appleton outside their home.
The court was told that for three years, the old lady would throw dog poo into the couple’s garden, scratch their car and play music to encourage her parrot to sing loudly. Her victims described the bird’s operatic repertoire as ‘Chinese torture.’ So the poor parrot is no Mariah Carey then!
We would like to think that this kind of madness could only happen in Kent, but sadly that is not true!
The widow was caught on CCTV 38 times as she smeared grease over the bonnets of the Appletons’ van and car in 2018. In her defence, she then claimed that “the grease on the vehicle was the result of her falling”. Sadly, she had no fish and chips in her hand at the time to back-up her version of the events.
Maidstone Magistrates Court also heard that she intentionally caused her parrot to sing loudly if the Appletons were in the garden. James Nichols, prosecuting, said: ‘She would deliberately try and harass them. On one occasion she started playing loud opera music, which caused the bird to sing louder.’ How the prosecution proved this is we do not know.
The widowed pensioner pleaded guilty to criminal damage and harassment halfway through a trial in December. She was made subject to a restraining order, as well as being sentenced to 70 days in prison, suspended for 12 months. What is even more unbelievable is that she was given a community order in 2017 for throwing dog poo into the Appleton’s garden. So that did a lot of good didn’t it!
The icing on the whole debacle came from Francis Conteh, who was defending the pensioner. He warned the restraining order was a “recipe for disaster”. He said: “If my client is coming out of her drive and Mr Appleton has just got out of his van, is this going to be listed as contact? I would advise that in order to avoid potential breaches of a restraining order he parks elsewhere”. Its always good advice to tell the victims that they should change their way of life so that the criminal can get on with their own as normal.
We have no update as to the fate of the singing parrot, but we doubt it will be appearing on the Pet-factor anytime soon.