“IT was far too heavy handed. They just didn’t care”.

Those are the words of a Hampshire dad-of-four whose wife, who is suffering with cancer, was given a criminal caution by police after she tried to sell her parrot.

Neil Cornmell claims police were “heavy handed” because his wife Naomi, 35, tried to sell Murphy, an African grey parrot, without a licence to do so – which she was unaware she needed.

Mr Cornmell says he is now considering launching a formal complaint about the incident, which has caused Mrs Cornmell more stress.

He says that the family were trying to sell the parrot as Mrs Cornmell, who is undergoing chemotherapy, felt unable to cope with the bird, and they wanted to ensure it went to a “loving home.”

After the police officer arrived and quizzed Mrs Cornmell at their home in Pine Road, Bishop’s Waltham, and said she would get a criminal caution, 46-year-old Neil arrived home and said he was shocked by the way the officer was handling it.

He recorded the interview, and said that the police did not take into consideration his wife’s condition and vulnerable state.

Mr Cornmell said: “I said how can we do what you want us to do, but he said it was a criminal offence, and that the law is the law.

“All we want them to do is go away and leave us alone. They did not need to be so heavy-handed especially with such a vulnerable woman.

“They did not even seem to care about her cancer, we have dealt with three policemen and they do not care about her and where her future is heading, as far as they know the outlook could be terrible but they have not even bothered asking.

“I want to stop this happening to other people, they have to be more careful when dealing with someone going through this.”

He said the police were aware that his wife suffers from cancer.

In a statement, Hampshire Constabulary said: “We received a report that an African Grey parrot was being sold without the certification required under international wildlife protection law.

“An officer visited the parrot’s owner to investigate the report and establish whether an offence had been committed.

“After talking to the owners and then considering the legislation it was decided to deal with the matter by way of advice rather than to take any formal action.

“We have apologised to the family for any distress this has caused them at what is already a really difficult time.”