Babysitter is banned from keeping animals after he killed a pet ferret with a marble slab

A babysitter has been banned from keeping animals after he smashed and killed a pet ferret with a marble slab and threw another at a fence in front of horrified children.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on April 15 how David Walker, 30, had been babysitting his ex-partner’s children in Clowne when he threw one of the ferrets called Jack and killed another called Joe after he said they had attacked pet guinea pigs.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Andy Cash, representing the RSPCA, said: “He went on to say he was not thinking and he had acted like an animal and made a conscious decision to kill Joe after he lost control and lost his temper.”

Mr Cash added Walker’s ex had arranged for him to look after the children and their friends but she got a call from him with the children screaming saying the guinea pigs were dead. Walker’s ex returned, according to Mr Cash, and the children said Walker had killed the ferrets and one had been thrown against a fence.

The defendant admitted he had been making drinks and heard screaming and said one of the guinea pigs was dead so he had picked up the ferret Jack and thrown him out of frustration. He added that he lost his temper and grabbed the other ferret Joe and twisted its neck. Walker claimed he did not want Joe to suffer so he put a towel over the ferret’s head and when he realised the animal was still alive he struck Joe with a marble slab.

The court heard Walker’s ex found the pet ferrets in plastic bags in the bin with Jack still breathing but Joe was dead. She stated Walker told her the pet ferrets had killed the guinea pigs and he had killed the ferrets.

The defendant, who is of previous good character, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after the attacks in October. Karl Meakin, defending, said: “It is an extremely unpleasant sequence of events and one which Mr Walker is deeply ashamed and remorseful for.”

Walker, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to an 18 month community order with thinking skills and rehabilitation programmes and 200 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from keeping animals for ten years and must pay £400 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.