Shropshire

Woman banned from keeping pets after drunkenly decapitating snakes

Jennifer Lampe Image copyright Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
Image caption Jennifer Lampe drank lager, whiskey and amaretto before killing her pets, the court heard

A woman who admitted decapitating her pet snakes with scissors while drunk has been banned from keeping pets for five years.

Jennifer Lampe was found by police with a still-moving headless boa constrictor around her neck, and reptile heads in her pockets in April.

Telford Magistrates' Court heard she "vomited up" the heads after swallowing them as she "wanted to keep them".

The 28-year-old was also handed a four-month suspended prison sentence.

Magistrates described it as an "unpleasant" and "bizarre" case of animal cruelty.

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The court heard Lampe, of Market Drayton, had thrown her pet hamster in a fish tank and watched it drown weeks before the decapitations because it was making too much noise in the night.

She also had dumped one unwanted cat behind a fence and twice tried to dispose of another.

RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price said she killed the animals because she feared she would be made homeless after falling out with her sister, whom she lived with, and would be unable to look after them.

'Yelling and swearing'

Lampe told the court she had drunk seven cans of lager and shots of amaretto and whisky before killing the snakes.

Mr Price said an argument between Lampe and her sister's boyfriend led to the incident boiling over, with the defendant reportedly "yelling and swearing" before taking scissors and a knife to her bedroom, which also housed the snakes.

He said: "When her sister saw the defendant in her bedroom she had a boa constrictor under her top and was covered in blood.

"About three-quarters of the snake could be seen. The defendant was hysterical."

A vet confirmed the snakes had probably been decapitated with the scissors, adding the deaths were "not swift" and their suffering would have been "prolonged and painful".

Mr Price told the court reptiles' heads "can remain operable up to an hour after decapitation", which means they could have been still alive as Lampe swallowed them.

Defending, Sarah Cooper said her client was a vulnerable "loner" with "some mental health problems".

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