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Woman Set Rabbit on Fire

A woman set fire to her sister’s pet rabbit as two children slept upstairs.

Katey Barber downed seven cans of lager and set the hutch of family pet Bunny alight, leaving the animal burnt and blistered.

Stockport Magistrates heard Barber, 22, locked the back door and laughed when she was begged to hand over the keys, despite the rabbit’s squeals.

Barber had been drinking at her mother’s house in Cheadle Heath, Stockport, when the offence occurred in September last year.

Her mother and her boyfriend were away on holiday with Barber’s sister Rachel, Bunny’s owner.

Prosecuting, Dominic Geelan said: “The defendant, for an unaccountable reason, decided to burn her mother’s partner’s clothes and began placing items of his clothing in a round drum, pouring turps on them and setting them alight.”

He said two children were asleep upstairs.

Mr Geelan said Barber prodded the rabbit with a stick, before throwing a burning piece of paper into the hutch and shutting the door.

When witnesses tried to help, they were met with expletives, he said. Mr Geelan added: “The defendant said she didn’t care. The rabbit by this point could be heard squealing in pain. The defendant started laughing and said: ‘look, the rabbit’s running around on fire’.”

The court heard Barber eventually poured water on the fire.

Bunny is now terrified of human contact, has permanent scarring and may still have to have an ear partly amputated.

Barber, formerly of Ladysmith Street, Stockport, now of Wythenshawe, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Sentencing has been adjourned until March 23.

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