A man was jailed and given a pet ban for stabbing a snake in the head with a screwdriver because it hissed at him.
Michael McCann, 36, was investigated by the RSPCA after a 3ft-long boa constrictor was found dead at a property for homeless residents.
The incident happened in South Shields.
After being questioned by the authorities, the man said that he hit the snake with a fire extinguisher before grabbing a tool to inflict more damage.
The incident that we are talking about happened in May 28, 2020.
The man said that he was on his way to a shop that day when the snake bit him when he was in the porch.
Rachael Hurst, an RSPCA Inspector, launched an investigation after being contacted about the incident at a multiple occupancy house for homeless residents.
Talking about the incident at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Rachael said:
When I arrived at the property I was shown into the front porch by support workers and there was a snake in the corner which appeared deceased. There were also blood stains on the carpet. When I picked the snake up his jaw was embedded into the carpet which made it difficult to free. There was an open wound on the snake’s head and he appeared to be in poor body condition.
After speaking to a number of staff and residents of the property, Inspector Hurst ended up interviewing 2 men.
She added in the court:
No one seemed to own the snake or knew where he had come from but they believed he had been posted through the letterbox. He had been in the porch for a few days and nobody had mentioned it or attempted to move him. When one of the residents was leaving to go to the shop, the snake apparently bit him on the leg. He said that the following day he passed the snake again and when he hissed at him he hit him with a fire extinguisher and stabbed him in the head with a screwdriver. I removed a screwdriver from the scene and took the snake to a nearby vet for an examination and post mortem.
The snake was in poor condition.
According to multiple reports, the snake that was killed was underweight for their age and size and showed evidence of poor skin shedding.
The RSPCA said that the snake was neglected or abandoned at the hostel or was an escaped pet that had been straying for some time.
After the sentencing, Officer Hurst said:
This poor snake was already in a poor condition and was likely extremely frightened and confused. He needed help but, instead, was viciously attacked, seriously injured and left to die, as vets suspect, a long and slow death.
The man was given a 17 week prison sentence and was banned from keeping any animals for the span of 10 years.
The man was also ordered to pay £128 victim surcharge.