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Jail for man who killed hamster in microwave

An unemployed construction worker who microwaved his favourite hamster to death was jailed for nine weeks yesterday. Anthony Parker, 29, from Hartlepool in Teesside, was banned from keeping animals for five years by magistrates in the town.

When police came to his home in the early hours of 23 February, he admitted putting his pet in the microwave after a drunken row with his girlfriend. The court heard he told officers: "Ididn't mean to kill her. She was the best hamster I ever had. She was called Suzie."

It is the third animal cruelty case to emerge in recent weeks. On Monday police charged bank clerk Mary Bale with animal cruelty for depositing a cat in a wheelie bin in Coventry, while on Tuesday CCTV images were released showing a man apparently dumping his lame dog at an industrial estate before driving away.

Parker admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the Syrian hamster, resulting in its death.

He had been drinking all day and got into an argument with his girlfriend. He told police he had not meant to kill Suzie, but admitted putting her in the cooker for his partner to see. He later said he had no recollection of events.