An Italian man has been accused of killing his neighbour, a mother-of-two, after she reportedly trained her pet parrot to hurl insults at him.

Ignazio Frailis, a 46-year-old from Sardinia, is accused of ambushing 60-year-old Maria Bonaria Contu as she walked with a friend and stabbing her 11 times. She died while her friend was wounded.

Local newspaper L'Unione Sarda reports that Frailis was driven to murder Contu because she had trained a parrot to insult him.

Unemployed Frailis is reported to have spent much of his day playing video games within earshot of the parrot.

"Listening to the parrot all day, it became an obsession for him," said Paolo De Angelis, an investigating magistrate, adding: "I don't exclude mental problems. Even the worst parrot in the world doesn't justify this."

Police were aware of tensions between the neighbours and that Frailis complained about the parrot to authorities before.

"Officers had tried to talk to both sides and had suggested putting the parrot in a different room, not facing Mr Frailis' house," Eugenio Fatone, the arresting officer, said.

Frailis' uncle, Dario Serra, claimed his nephew was not ordinarily a violent man, saying: "He is a good person, he took care of cats and dogs and has never hurt anyone."

The parrot is believed to be unharmed despite its pivotal role in the dispute between Frailis and his neighbour.

In 2016, a parrot became the unwitting crux to a US federal investigation. The bird had belonged to an alleged drug dealer and had a habit of repeating phrases that alluded to criminal acts and extreme violence.