Pair charged over hamster sent in post
TWO students will appear in court charged with animal cruelty after a hamster was sent through the post.
First Class the hamster touched the hearts of News readers earlier this year when she was found in a post box in the centre of Cambridge.
She had been placed in an envelope marked with what appeared to be an address in Seymour Street, Cambridge, and the words "Do Not Bend".
David Jordan, of Columbine Road, Ely, who will be 19 tomorrow (Wednesday, 07 December), and James Cole, 19, of Marchwood, Southampton, have been charged with abandoning a hamster in a manner likely to cause it suffering.
They will appear at Ely Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, January 17.
Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA spokeswoman, said: "Proceedings are pending so it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this stage."
Postman Robert Maher spotted First Class's head peeping out of the envelope when he was emptying a post box in Market Square on June 22. He initially thought it was a mouse and took it to vet Patrick von Heimendahl at his Clarendon Street practice.
Mr von Heimendahl immediately identified First Class as a hamster and said things could have been much worse if she had escaped from the envelope and ended up trapped in the post box with no water.
First Class now lives with Rachel Thompson, a nurse at Mr von Heimendahl's practice.
She said: "Luckily, First Class was unscathed and was not too traumatised by the experience - it was a lucky escape.
"She's a lovely and adorable hamster."
After First Class's story was reported exclusively in the News in June, her fame spread far and wide. She was even featured in the New York Times.