Elderly NSW woman admits torturing animals

Mark Russell
Two magpies and a rainbow lorikeet were found in Brenda Marney's home

A 74-year-old woman has admitted torturing animals including a magpie that was found in a cage at her home on NSW's mid-north coast with its beak cut off.

Police said Brenda Dorothy Marney had captured the injured magpie and kept it instead of taking it to a vet - effectively torturing the bird by not seeking treatment.

Marney has been in custody since mid-October 17 after breaching her bail conditions by approaching birds at a reserve.

She was due to face a three-day hearing in Forster Local Court starting on Wednesday.

Marney instead pleaded guilty to six charges including committing an act of cruelty on a pelican, failing to provide veterinary treatment to an injured pelican and injured magpie to alleviate pain, not having a licence to keep wildlife and illegally possessing protected animals.

The protected animals were two magpies and a rainbow lorikeet.

Prosecutor Senior Sergeant Garry Rowe told the court four charges would be withdrawn following Marney's guilty pleas including committing acts of aggravated cruelty on a baby pelican and an adult pelican.

Marney - who was transported to court in prison greens from jail in Kempsey - has spent 84 days behind bars since her arrest in May.

She initially claimed she'd done nothing wrong and it was a misunderstanding, despite claims she'd feed animals to gain their trust before taking them home and torturing them.

The woman known as the "Bird Lady of Tuncurry" claimed she was trying to help a pelican which had a hook in its wing when police were called.

Magistrate Ross Hudson released Marney on bail on Wednesday and adjourned the case for sentencing on Thursday.

Mr Hudson ordered Marney not to have contact with animals and to stay at her Tuncurry home with her husband, Charles, until she attended court on Thursday.

Charles Marney has pleaded guilty to not having a licence to keep wildlife and will also be sentenced on Thursday.

Brenda Marney's original bail conditions banned her from going near a boat ramp in Tuncurry, the town's Fish Co-Op and rock pool as well as a car park and caravan park in Forster.

Defence lawyer Roland Day said the case involved a woman obsessed with trying to deal with injured animals.

Marney was arrested in May after she was spotted grabbing a pelican after feeding it fish and bundling it into her car boot.

She slammed the boot shut on its wing in Tuncurry, police said.

Marney let the injured animal go when police approached but a search of her home found evidence of animal torture including the caged magpie.

The bird was taken to a vet and put down.