TWO MEN from Fareham have each been given non-custodial sentences and must pay compensation costs to Marwell Zoo after appearing at a hearing in Winchester Crown Court on Thursday (January 19); the young pair avoiding prison terms for offences from an incident nearly two years ago at this popular tourist attraction
As reported in the Globe at the time; both armed and unarmed officers were called to the scene based near Winchester on the evening of February 15, 2021 following reports of break-ins. Using night vision equipment they established that several items, including glass bottles, had been thrown into the large giraffe enclosure.
Video footage was shared through social media showing many items being thrown at a giraffe’s head, whilst a tiger was kicked at after being encouraged to approach the fence. It is reported that approximately £2,000 worth of damage was caused by the incident, with the resulting repair work taking up to four weeks to finish.
In December it was announced that 24-year old Bradley Green had pleaded guilty to both animal cruelty and criminal damage; twenty-one year old Nathan Daniels further pleading guilty to criminal damage. Two others, named as 23-year-olds Coral Lock and Jason Huggitt, walked free after their not guilty pleas were accepted.
Judge Richard Parkes KC sentenced Green to a twelve month community order with an additional 120 hours of unpaid work and must pay £750 for his two charges. Daniels was given the same sentence for his criminal damage offence, with repairs needed to the nearby penguin enclosure and surrounding zoo perimeter fence.
Marwell Zoo responded to the sentences in a statement via their website: “We would like to thank everybody involved in investigating the break-in overnight on 15 February 2021 during Covid-19 restrictions. We’d also like to thank Judge Richard Parkes KC for recognising the severity of what happened and the impacts it had on our animals, staff, volunteers, and local community, when sentencing. It is deeply saddening to think that there are still people within our community who don’t understand the message we work so hard to promote.”
PICTURED BY ALAMY (KW3DDY): Wildlife members of Marwell Zoo team get the privilege of feeding some hungry giraffes in enclosure, the scene of incident and attack during lockdown restrictions in February 2021.