Snake woman banned from keeping reptiles and fined £310 in case which cost RSPCA £150k.

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Snake woman banned from keeping reptiles and fined £310 in case which cost RSPCA £150k.

Post  Admin on Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:13 am


A pensioner who kept almost 200 snakes in her semi-detached house has been banned from keeping reptiles for a year following a prosecution which has cost the RSPCA more than £150,000.



Pauline Wallace, 64, admitted keeping the animals in poor conditions at her home in York, including 114 in her bedroom.

Today, at York Magistrates' Court, Wallace was given a 12-month community order with supervision as well as the reptile-keeping ban.

She had pleaded guilty to nine counts of animal cruelty at a previous hearing.

Phil Browne, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the bench the charity has incurred costs of £156,000 since they discovered Wallace's huge colony of at least 186 snakes.

Mr Browne said that it was costing the society between £7,000 and £16,000 a month to house 60 of the reptiles that were seized and did not have to be put down.
But chairman of the bench Erica Taylor ordered Wallace to pay just £250 costs and a further £60 surcharge.

Mr Browne told the magistrates: "Around 20 dead snakes had been frozen.

"Mrs Wallace indicated these were her favourites and couldn't bear to part with them."

The prosecutor said the live snakes were in various states and some were infested with mites and living in their own waste.

He said Wallace's border collie Alfie was also in a bad state.

Mr Browne said one vet said of one vivarium: "There was a foul smell when I lifted the lid which was quite overwhelming."

David Ward, defending, said his client started off with one snake and came to love the reptiles when she noticed how it would only go to sleep after she had gone to bed.
Mr Ward said she began to take in more and more until she had developed a "snake hostel".

He said: "This is an elderly lady who, for a time, had too many snakes."

He said the snakes were mostly very small and only posed a danger to a "passing worm or frog".

Mr Ward said his client only had 14 snakes now and these were well looked after.

Magistrates gave Wallace, of Osbaldwick Lane, York, 21 days to re-home these remaining reptiles.

Turning to the costs incurred by the RSPCA, Mr Ward said: "It's absolutely outrageous this firm can charge £7,000 to £16,000 a month to look after a few snakes that she (Wallace) was looking after on a pension."
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Re: Snake woman banned from keeping reptiles and fined £310 in case which cost RSPCA £150k.

Post  misty02 on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:43 pm

Money for old rope. They charge what they want as they know as they know they'll get it paid one way or another even if they lose the case. What else is the Public Purse for if not bumping up their bank account.
What I can't understand is that the charity worker that came to me put a bill in to his employer for the time he spent on my case. Came to over £800. Surely that's what they pay him a salary for? This was when he was supposed to be on long-term sick leave though  Rolling Eyes  Was thinking of sending the invoice to HMRC just in case he's forgotten to declare it  Smile 

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Re: Snake woman banned from keeping reptiles and fined £310 in case which cost RSPCA £150k.

Post  Trilby Bee on Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:33 pm

Well, misty, charity starts at home...the RSPCA woman who stole my mare sat in court on FIVE occasions, no doubt on full pay each time. On the last occasion she was there from 9 until 4 as my idiot solicitor did not show. Full pay for drinking coffee all day. Even when he did show she was not needed. And I'm sure when she left the court she sat in her van for the rest of the day doing her 'paperwork'. Similarly the one from World Horse 'Welfare'...on his statement, he actually said that he was 'sitting in his car doing his paperwork'. His paperwork consisted of saying that he turned up as I was leaving and as I had no car and was depending on public transport I asked him to come back two days later. It would take me five minutes to write that. And after he later retired he was paid by WHW to sit in court with the RSPCA bitch drinking coffee and no doubt claiming excessive amounts for his contribution to animal welfare.
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Snake Woman

Post  Trilby Bee on Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:42 pm

£156K? Not again!! And how much do small snakes eat to run up a bill of up to £16k a month? Thought they had an occasional dead mouse, but I am not an expert and could not become attached to a snake at all. Mr Ward refers to a 'firm' that is looking after the surviving snakes...is he being a bit tongue in cheek and referring to RSPCA as a 'firm' or do they farm them out to a luxurious snake hotel?
'Staggering' amounts of money again involved, as ever!!
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