Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Clearly an act of stupidity"

One of the more bizarre local crimes to have been committed recently in Cambridge involves posting a hamster.

A couple of undergraduates living not that far from me decided to post a hamster in a bizarre act of revenge to a man who they claimed had threatened one of them. Apparently, after there had been complaints about a man loitering about their college (on one report kerb-crawling and abusing students) the pair had tailed a suspect home and become embroiled in an argument.

The reason given for such an idiosyncratic revenge:

"to cause confusion - I suppose to make him look after it".

That and they claim to have been "plastered" at the time.

The hamster, subsequently called "First Class", was saved from death by mail-sorting machine through the attentive intervention of a postman. The pair were found guilty of, and fined heavily for abandoning an animal in circumstances likely to cause suffering.

In a statement reproduced in student papers but not the mainstream media, the pair apologized but also made a comment about the the diligence of the RSPCA in securing their prosecution compared to the local police's activity to find the loitering man they blamed for their woes.

They also made a rather ill-judged comment about "society's priorities" and the number of lives that could be saved by a donation to Oxfam equivalent to the public costs incurred in their prosecution. Well quite. But hardly the kind of half-hearted expression of contrition likely to endear them to the general public, though certainly not crass enough to justify the subsequent (and cowardly) hate mail to one of their families.

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