A 22-year-old man hurled his girlfriend's hamster against the wall then stamped it to death before feeding it to his dog - all because she dumped him.
Ryan O'Brien killed the helpless pet called Dave to get back at Jemma Tracey, 23, after she ended their six-year relationship.
Magistrates heard Jemma visited jilted O'Brien's home in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in July last year to collect her belongings, including her two pet hamsters.
Fearing he was facing eviction on top of losing his girlfriend, jobless O’Brien refused to hand the animals over and demanded a £20 ransom for them.
But when Jemma refused to pay O'Brien picked up one of the hamsters, called Dave, and warned her she had "one more chance".
She again refused to give him the money so O’Brien hurled the pet against the wall of his flat.
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It crashed off the wall and initially survived the horrific attack until O'Brien, realising the rodent was still alive, crushed the dazed animal under his boot before calling over across his bulldog - to lap up the remains off the floor.
Heartless O’Brien reached for the second hamster and threatened to slit its throat before desperate Jemma paid his demand of £5 and fled with her surviving pet.
O'Brien was arrested the next day and charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.
But he walked free from court on Wednesday after magistrates in Stevenage sentenced him to a suspended sentence of six months behind bars after pleading guilty to the act of cruelty dubbed by a magistrate as "uncontrollable rage".
Mark Jones, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told magistrates the offence was "premeditated and gratuitous cruelty".
He told Stevenage Magistrates Court told the court that Jemma said she had returned to the property soley to collect her things and that O'Brien flew into a rage because he believed he was about to be evicted.
He said: "Jemma had recently ended the relationship, he could not accept that it was over and he was angry.
"He acknowledged that he had been drinking and she remembers him stumbling around and that his breath smelt of cider.
"He suddenly started screaming at her 'it's all your fucking fault I'm getting kicked out, I hope you die.
"He demanded to be paid £20 for the hamsters, threatening to kill them if she didn't pay.
"He picked up Dave and held him in his hand and said 'you've got one more chance' before throwing the hamster as hard as he could against the wall.
"Miss Tracey said she heard a huge thud and before the hamster fell down behind the sofa.
"He picked it up and said 'oh look its still alive' and the dropped it to the floor and stamped on it.
"Miss Tracey says she saw the hamster explode with it's guts spilling out onto the floor, he then called over his dog which started to lick up the blood."
Mr Jones added: "As she left O'Brien said to her 'I would have cut the hamster's throat and made you watch me, I hope you and your daughter go in the same coffin."
The attack took place on 23 July, last year, three months after the Jemma had ended their relationship.
O'Brien pleaded guilty on the day that his trial was due to begin at Hertford Magistrates April 3, this year.
Tracey, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, said she and the defendant had been in an on-and-off relationship for six years.
She ended in March 2011 when she gave birth to her first daughter Honesty, who O'Brien was not the father of.
Jemma said: "I couldn't stand what he did, I just watched and I couldn't believe it.
"It's disgusting. He was laughing he thought it was funny, he said he wanted to hurt me and that was the best way he could think of.
"I don't believe a word about him being sorry, it's just a game to him."
She added: "I had had enough of the way he was treating me and I wanted better for my child so I ended it.
"I feel let down that he didn't get jail, he doesn't have any remorse, he was laughing when he killed the hamster and he was laughing today in court.
"I'm really angry because he thinks he has got away with it.
"He has to learn he can't get away with what he has done, you can't do that to an animal.
"His defence says he's sorry but he doesn't act like it and I don't believe him. I want people to see what he is really like, he couldn't care less."
O'Brien attended court flanked by friends and his new girlfriend, more than once he appeared to smirk in the dock and one of his friends was ejected from court for laughing out loud.
Chairman of the bench Malcolm Wulwick condemned O'Brien's "uncontrollable rage."
He said: "Mr O'Brien you wilfully killed and mutilated a helpless animal in your uncontrollable rage.
"I sentence to 24 weeks in prison, this would have been 26 had it not been for your late guilty plea. This sentence will be suspended for two years."
Mr Wulwick also insisted that O'Brien carry out 140 hours of unpaid community service attend an offenders substance abuse programme and pay £375 towards the cost of the case.
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