A student who cooked a hamster in a frying pan has been banned from keeping animals for eight years. James White, 21, admitted to killing his Korean flatmate’s female adult Syrian hamster after a drinking binge, but claimed it was dead before he put it in the pan.
White, in the final year of a Politics and International Relations degree, was in a drunken stupor when police arrived at his York University digs, with a “pungent” cooking smell coming from his room.
Officers found the hamster in a pan on a lit hob.
White, who has no recollection of the night, is said to have exclaimed: “I f****** fried it!”
District judge Roy Anderson read a letter from the hamster’s owner, who said he was still flatmates with White and that he hadn’t had time to name his pet before it died.
The judge banned White from keeping animals for eight years, ordered him to do 120 hours’ unpaid community work and told him to pay £1,000 prosecution costs.
He said: “By your treatment of this small, unfortunate rodent you have destroyed your character.”
The case had been set for a trial at Selby magistrates court, in North Yorkshire, but the guilty plea was made after the judge indicated White would be convicted of the offence even if the animal was dead before it was cooked.
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