News, Culture & Society

‘Bird Lady’ insists she wasn’t cruel to animals as she faces court accused of abusing birds

An elderly woman accused of torturing and mutilating birds has insisted she wasn’t cruel to the animals as she faced court for crushing a pelican’s wing in her car and mutilating a magpie.

Brenda Dorothy Marney, 73, faces numerous animal cruelty charges after police raided her home in Tuncurry, on the NSW mid-north coast, earlier this month.

Marney appeared in Foster Local Court on Wednesday, claiming she had done nothing and it was all a misunderstanding. 

She formally pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges, including committing acts of aggravated cruelty on a baby pelican and an adult pelican.

Brenda Dorothy Marney, 73, faces numerous animal cruelty charges after police raided her home in Tuncurry, on the NSW mid-north coast, earlier this month 

Brenda Marney's Tuncurry is accused of torturing and mutilating birds (pictured, birds at her home)

Brenda Marney’s Tuncurry is accused of torturing and mutilating birds (pictured, birds at her home)

She is accused of inflicting pain on one pelican by crushing its left wing on her car boot; failing to provide vet treatment to an injured magpie; not having a licence to keep wildlife at her Tuncurry home; and possessing protected animals – namely two magpies and one rainbow lorikeet. 

Outside court before her matter was mentioned, Marney said she had done nothing wrong.

Asked what she thought of the charges, she said: ‘Shocked. I can’t believe it. Everyone in the area knows me. All the vets know me. Things have got out of hand. There was no cruelty.’

Marney said she was only trying to help a pelican which had a hook in its wing when police were called.

She refused to comment upon leaving court after getting legal advice. 

Police claim Marney was spotted by members of the public grabbing a pelican after feeding it fish and bundling it into her boot, slamming it shut on its wing, on April 27.

She let the injured animal go as police approached and a later search of her home allegedly found extensive evidence of animal torture.

Marney appeared in Foster Local Court on Wednesday, claiming she had done nothing and it was all a misunderstanding

Marney appeared in Foster Local Court on Wednesday, claiming she had done nothing and it was all a misunderstanding 

The Tuncurry boat ramp where accused animal abuser Brenda Marney allegedly lured  a pelican from before forcing it into her car

The Tuncurry boat ramp where accused animal abuser Brenda Marney allegedly lured  a pelican from before forcing it into her car 

Officers allegedly found a caged magpie without a beak, and phones containing sickening images videos of animals mutilated in public places. 

Police say Marney would take the animals, which she had allegedly mutilated over an extended period, to the vet to be euthanised, claiming to have found them.

The retiree claims she merely cares for injured animals she finds in Tuncurry and nearby Forster, where she is known as the ‘bird lady’ by locals. 

‘This is a misunderstanding, I love animals and would never hurt them, I just look after them,’ she told Daily Mail Australia earlier this month. 

‘I’ve been caring for birds for 40 years, when I see one that’s hurt or sick I bring it home and feed it and help it.’ 

She formally pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges, including committing acts of aggravated cruelty on a baby pelican and an adult pelican

She formally pleaded not guilty to a total of 10 charges, including committing acts of aggravated cruelty on a baby pelican and an adult pelican 

Marney's home (pictured) is on a quiet waterfront street had plastic sheets covering all her windows, with barbed chicken wire in front some of them

Marney’s home (pictured) is on a quiet waterfront street had plastic sheets covering all her windows, with barbed chicken wire in front some of them

Marney is accused of gaining the trust of animals by feeding them, before taking them home and torturing them over an extended period of time.

Her home on a quiet waterfront street had plastic sheets covering all her windows, with barbed chicken wire in front some of them.

The approach to her front door was obscured by plastic sheeting with a makeshift metal fence and barbed wire in front.

A large bird coop was visible through a narrow gap in the sheet looking towards the garage.

Marney is known in Tuncurry as the ‘bird lady’ who frequents waterside areas every day to feed birds.

Outside court before her matter was mentioned on Wednesday, Marney said she had done nothing wrong

Outside court before her matter was mentioned on Wednesday, Marney said she had done nothing wrong 

She was also often seen at the local Woolworths buying dog food and bananas to feed her menagerie at home. 

Another time she dumped a whole bucket of mussels she just bought into the river to ‘release them’.

Marney was also known to photograph dead and injured animals in public. She was also known to yell a nearby people who she accused of hurting them, and shout at children who chased seagulls.

Other locals said she sometimes wore a protective mask in public.

Police began investigating Marney last year, but she was only arrested after the pelican incident. 

She remains on strict bail with magistrate Ross Hudson adjourning the case to July 9.  

Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.