Nov 22 2012 By Jack Griffith
NEIGHBOURS of an animal lab worker prosecuted for failing to care for pet hedgehogs called police because of the stench coming from her squalid flat.
People living next door to Joanna Malton, 34, thought she might have died in her one bedroom flat in Aylsham Drive, Ickenham, but when officers gained entry, they found filthy conditions and eight African pigmy hedgehogs.
Their cages were filthy and one hedgehog was dead, and Uxbridge Magistrates court heard on November 16 that Ms Malton, an animal laboratory technician, was embarrassed about the state of her flat.
She initially denied four charges of failing to meet the needs of the animals but later changed her plea, and she was banned from keeping all animals for four years, ordered to pay s2,400 costs, and given a 12-month supervision order.
Inspector Mark Beaman, from the RSPCA, said: "These exotic animals need specialist care and sadly they were neglected and failed by their owner."
The hedgehogs will now be found suitable homes.