VIDEO: Northampton pensioner who ‘snared’ cat in homemade wire trap set up in his garden fined £200

A pensioner from Northampton has been fined £200 after he admitted injuring a cat he caught in a wire trap set up in his garden.

Terry Blanch, aged 74, of Bourne Crescent, Kings Heath, Northampton, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Terry Blanch appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal

Terry Blanch appeared at Northampton Magistrates' Court after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal

The court heard that Lileth, a long haired cat, went missing on two occasions in November 2014 and December 2015.

Her owner, Michelle Batchelor, who lives a few doors away from Blanch’s address, said on both occasions she heard her cat crying from behind the fence of his garden.

Ms Batchelor, who has four other cats, said she looked over the fence and saw Lileth had been trapped in a cage.

On both occasions, Ms Batchelor was forced to knock on the Blanch’s door and he then agreed to release the cat.

Lilleth, a long haired cat, was trapped in a snare set up in a Northampton garden

Lilleth, a long haired cat, was trapped in a snare set up in a Northampton garden

Ms Janita Patel, prosecuting, said Blanch was given two warnings from the RSPCA about the use of traps or snares in his garden.

In February this year, Lileth again went missing and Ms Batchelor heard her crying behind Blanch’s garden fence.

When she looked over, Ms Batchelor saw her cat had become wrapped up in a wire snare.

After phoning the RSPCA and police, Ms Batchelor was informed she could climb the fence and go into the garden to retrieve her cat.

A cat was trapped in a snare set up in the back garden of a house in Northampton

A cat was trapped in a snare set up in the back garden of a house in Northampton

Ms Batchelor said: “Lileth was hissing and crying and I thought she was injured and her back legs had gone.

“I tried to pull her out but she would not move. I then noticed that around her waist was a wire snare.

“The snare was tight round her waist and did not move freely.”

Ms Batchelor eventually managed to remove Lileth from the snare and she was taken to a vets.

Trap cages were also found in the back garden of Terry Blanch, aged 74, of Northampton

Trap cages were also found in the back garden of Terry Blanch, aged 74, of Northampton

Lilleth was given painkillers and antibiotics and checked for internal bleeding. Ms Batchelor said her pet had now recovered from her physical injuries but was much more fearful about going outside now.

Ms Batchelor said: “I feel absolutely horrified that one of my cats has been caught in this way, not only a cage but also a snare.”

In his interview with the RSPCA, Blanch said he set up the snares and traps to stop rats and rabbits from getting into the aviary, which was in his garden.

Blanch claimed he was not aiming to catch cats but admitted he was not aware of the legislation for setting snares or that it was his responsibility to check them daily.

The court heard that when he was asked what he would do to deter cats from entering his garden he said “You don’t want to know.”

Blanch was given a two-year community order with the condition that he must not possess, or permit anybody to use on his land, any snares or homemade animal traps.

Michelle Batchelor with her cat Lilleth

Michelle Batchelor with her cat Lilleth

He was fined £200, must pay £300 costs and £60 surcharge.

District Judge Tim Daber did not ban him from owning animals as he said there was no evidence he had mistreated his birds in any way.