VIDEO: Horrifying moment 15-year-old boy sets fire to live crow in Derbyshire - WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
This is the horrifying moment a 15-year-old schoolboy was filmed on a mobile phone setting fire to a live crow in Derbyshire.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, torched the terrified bird in a park while his friend egged him on.
The shocking attack took place near Da Vinci School in Derby on June 3.
The boy can be seen reaching his hand through a green wire fence and holding a cigarette lighter against the bird's tail feathers.
Smoke can be seen rising before he again sets it on fire.
Flames can be seen spreading across the bird’s body before the 40-second clip cuts out.
The teenager, who was 15 at the time, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court.
He was sentenced to a 12-month referral order and told to pay Â£200 costs and a Â£20 victim surcharge yesterday (Monday).
Chairman of the bench Paul Dickerson said: "Suffering and cruelty to any wild bird is unacceptable.
"It was a very stupid action on your part - particularly setting fire to it.
“As we have heard from the experts, that would not have put it out of its misery, it is only more cruel.
“We are mindful that this is your first offence and we believe you need help in the form of rehabilitation and improving your mind set.
"If we did ban you that would be detrimental to your family.
“We are not going to order any disqualification, however, if this is repeated again it is likely that the court will look at would we have done today and that will mean your family will not be able to keep animals."
Prosecutor John Sutcliffe said: "He tries to burn the bird and is unsuccessful and then makes a second attempt.
"At the end of the footage the bird's tail feathers are alight.
“We do not know what the fate of the bird was but we would assume it died.
"In interview, the boy claimed he thought the bird was already dead.
“However, in the video he can see that the bird is moving.
"The footage has been seen by a vet who confirmed that the bird was alive and she also said burning to death would not be a good form of euthanasia and it would have been further distressed."
Mr Sutcliffe asked the court to consider imposing a lifetime ban on the teen from owning animals.
James Close, defending, said his client was sorry to find himself in court but thought imposing a lifetime ban on owning animals would be "draconian".
He said: "He did state in interview that he wasn't sure whether the bird was alive or dead.
"He is clearly showing off to his friend at the time.
“The friend is sort of egging him on.
“He is sorry he has found himself in court and spoiling his unblemished record.
“I think he would be different person if he wasn't with his friend.
"The family have rabbits and cats at home and I think banning him from owning pets for life would be draconian."
An RSPCA spokesperson said: "This was a brutal act against a defenceless animal, where the animal suffered as a result.
"The boy could be heard laughing during the incident, despite the crow clearly being alive throughout.
“This was confirmed by a vet who believed that the crow would have suffered a great deal.
"This serves as a stark reminder to anyone causes an animal to suffer unnecessarily that they are committing an offence, which the RSPCA takes seriously."