Police criticised after couple try to sell pet

Naomi Cornmell who was confronted by police after trying to sell her African Grey parrot.
Naomi Cornmell who was confronted by police after trying to sell her African Grey parrot.
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A COUPLE have criticised police for their ‘heavy-handed’ approach after they tried to sell their pet parrot.

Last week an officer visited Naomi Cornmell, 38, and said she was being investigated for trying to sell Murphy, an African Grey parrot, without a licence.

He had her in tears. He was being quite passive-aggressive.

Neil Cornmell

Mrs Cornmell, who is suffering from cancer, said she did not know she needed the licence and called her husband Neil, who returned home and confronted the officer.

Neil, 46, claimed the officer said he could give a criminal caution and was happy to take her to a police station.

He said: ‘He just turned up in a 4x4 and barged into the house. Naomi called me so I came home as quick as I could.

‘He had her in tears. He was being quite passive-aggressive.’

Neil took a video recording of the conversation and told the officer Naomi was ungoing chemotherapy.

He added: ‘He said it could go forward to conviction. I told him he was being too heavy-handed.

‘He was aware of her situation but didn’t seem to care.’

After their story was shared online a policewoman went round to talk to the couple, who are from Bishop’s Waltham.

The pair, who have four children, are still considering whether to make a formal complaint to police.

The couple have owned Murphy for more than four years but decided to sell him after he became too noisy to have in the house.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘We received a report that an African Grey parrot was being sold without the certification required under international wildlife protection law.

‘An officer visited the owner to investigate the report and establish whether an offence had been committed.

‘After talking to the owners and then considering the legislation it was decided to deal with the matter by way of advice rather than to take any formal action.

‘We have apologised to the family for any distress this has caused them at what is already a really difficult time.’