Ten-year reptile ban for Worksop man who let 25 pet pythons die

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A Worksop man who did nothing to prevent the deaths of his 25 pet pythons despite living on the same street as a vet, has been banned from keeping reptiles for ten years.

Simon Marsden, 37, admitted causing unnecessary suffering after RSPCA officers discovered the bodies of the dead snakes at his Carlton Road home, on June 19.

But he disposed of them before a post mortem could be carried out, a court heard, but it was suspected they died of an respiratory infection.

“This is a case of omission, rather than commission,” said David Payne, for the RSPCA.

A vet’s report said: “Allowing animals to die a horrible death from asphyxiation is not acceptable.

“We have no diagnosis and we have no idea what the pathogen was. Perhaps it was a completely treatable infection that some antibiotics might have cured.”

The snakes could have been killed and unnecessary suffering could have been avoided, said Mr Payne.

“I just thought I would try and get them through it myself,” said Marsden. “Which didn’t work obviously.

“It would have been a totally different situation if I hadn’t been that ill. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t feel remorse for what happened. I was going to bed thinking it was my last one, I was that ill.”

He said his parents were also ill while the snakes began to sicken and die, between December 2015 and March 2016.

Cheryl Nisbet, of the probation service, said: “He accepts he ignored the situation and knows that the snakes would have suffered quite significantly. His other pets were kept in an adequate condition.”

Marsden, who also keeps two tree frogs and a toad, pledged to give them to a responsible owner after being banned from looking after reptiles and amphibians. He can reapply to have the order lifted after two years.

He was given a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on December 22.

He was ordered to pay costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £85.