ENGLAND: A loner pet owner who drunkenly decapitated her two snakes with scissors before swallowing their heads has avoided jail.
Jennifer Lampe, 28, from Market Drayton in Shropshire, was discovered by police with the still-moving but headless body of her boa constrictor around her neck and both reptiles severed heads in her trouser pockets.
She had vomited up the heads after swallowing them, telling RSPCA officers that she had wanted to keep them.
On Thursday she was given a four-month jail term suspended for two years in what magistrates called an unpleasant, not to say bizarre, incident of animal cruelty.
She was also banned from keeping animals for five years.
Telford Magistrates' Court was also told how weeks before the decapitations she threw her pet hamster in a fish tank and watched it drown for making too much noise in the night.
RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price told court Lampe killed the two-metre boa constrictor and a smaller ball python because she feared she was set to be made homeless and would be unable to look after them.
“She believed she would be homeless and did not want to leave the snakes with her sister,” Mr Price added.
A vet confirmed the snakes had probably been decapitated with scissors but concluded the death of the snakes was not swift, with signs of several attempts to cut through the animals necks.
Mr Price said the vet had also found the snakes suffering was prolonged and painful and remarked that reptiles heads can remain operable up to an hour after decapitation, meaning they could have been aware as Lampe swallowed them.
Sarah Cooper, representing Lampe, said her client was a vulnerable loner who had some mental health problems, a drink problem and was currently taking anti-depressants.
Chairman of the bench Sue Tyrrell, sentencing, said despite the seriousness of the offence, magistrates would suspend the sentence.
“You will address the many issues you have which led to this offence and hopefully prevent you offending again.”
Lampe had already pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the snakes by doing an act, namely cutting their heads off contrary to the 2006 Animal Welfare Act. – dailymail.co.uk