He steals an escaped parrot from his home in a London park, the next day he realizes he is unable to look after it and keep it and sets it free. A few hours and the very unfortunate bird is attacked and killed by a fox. A gesture that cost dearly to Sattar Abdul, a 44-year-old professional driver. He avoided prison, as the animal rights associations loudly invoked, but he will have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work and pull 200 pounds (about 224 euros) out of his pockets.
After an unsuccessful attempt to grab him by the paws, Abdul has Sura locked in his Toyota thanks to a ploy: passing a bar of peanuts in front of his eyes, a food for which pet parrots are literally crazy. Some eyewitnesses say that the animal, once inside the car, began to scream and make strange sounds, biting the steering wheel with its mouth.
The driver was not softened by Sura’s sudden reaction and traveled with him the 35 kilometers that separated him from his home, Chadwell Heath, east London. Abdul explained to the police, who investigated after the discovery of the carcass, that it would have been the exotic bird that had deliberately entered the car by taking advantage of the open window. “When I saw him I felt compassion – he tried to justify himself – he seemed sad and sick to me. I just wanted to try and take care of it and brought it home.”
This justification was not accepted by the judges: the man was accused of theft and received, as anticipated, the penalty connected to the crime.
The facts date back to last June and had triggered a massive condemnation campaign on national and international blogs and social networks. Among the first to unleash the wave of indignation were the inhabitants of Richmond, the town where the parrot was quite well known, who gathered in the Facebook group Justice for Sura. And it was the same friends of the animal, virtual and otherwise, who started – in the hours following his disappearance, when it was not yet known what happened to him – a tam tam on the internet to look for Sura. A pressing that convinced Abdul to retrace his steps, put the bird back in the trunk of his Prius, cross the city and bring it back to where he had picked it up the previous day. It never got there. Along the way, in fact, he dumped him on the edge of a side road in the park. For Sura it was the end. To discover the piles of bloody feathers near Sheen Gate, not far from the place of the mysterious disappearance, was an acquaintance of Kareem Alipoor, owner of the animal.
There is also a video on the internet, published by Royal Parks Police on Twitter and taken from the public video surveillance circuit, which clearly shows the bird inside the vehicle in a state of great agitation. The sentence of the Wimbledon Magistrates Court was exemplary: four weeks in prison, suspended sentence. District Judge Peter Hayes said: “It would appear from the witness evidence that Abdul was also attempting to steal another parrot, a companion of Sura’s who also escaped from his home. This makes it unlikely that the former flew by accident into his car.” “.
An investigative officer who directly participated in the investigation said, at the end of the court hearing, that “there is satisfaction with the conviction but our thoughts are all with the owner of Sura: he has lost an irreplaceable friend”.