Student sentenced after admitting frying flatmate's hamster
A student will serve 120 hours community service after admitting to frying his flatmate's hamster while drunk to "the point of madness."
James White, 21, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the female hamster in February last year after a court could not establish if the animal was alive or not upon entering the pan.
District Judge Roy Anderson said he was sentencing White- a politics and international relations student at York University- on the basis the rodent died minutes before, while he was handling it.
Two veterinary pathologists gave their expert opinion on how the female Syrian hamster, which has not been named, met its death.
Selby Magistrates' Court heard White had drunk so much in his flat in York he was "on the point of madness" and could not remember the incident.
District Judge Anderson said it was clear the hamster did not die of natural causes and that "what happened on that night is still shrouded in mystery."
He told White: "By virtue of your treatment of this small, unfortunate rodent you've destroyed your good character and acquired a criminal conviction.
"It's accepted now that there was rough handling of that animal but that it couldn't be established that it was putting it in the frying pan and applying heat that caused its death.
"Had that sadistic conduct been established I would be dealing with you in a far more serious way than I am."
White is also banned from keeping animals for eight years and will pay £1,000 towards the £3,356 costs of the case.