A STUDENT who fried a hamster whilst drunk, has been ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community work by a district judge.

James White, 21, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the female hamster after drinking so much in his flat in York he was “on the point of madness”.

Selby Magistrates’ Court heard today (Thursday, March 7) that the York University student, who is studying politics and international relations, placed the animal into a hot frying pan.

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Police were called to the block of flats on Popes Head Court on February 2. Prosecutor Phil Brown told the court that when police went into the flat there was a strong and pungent smell and a frying pan next to the hob with a hamster in it. White then told the officer: “What if I f***ing fried it? I fried it.”

Kevin Blount, defending, told the court there was no deliberate intent. He said: “It was drunken foolishness that had tragic consequences for the hamster.”

the court could not establish whether the animal was alive when it went into the pan.

Two forensic veterinary pathologists attended the court to give their opinion on how the hamster met its death.

But the judge indicated in preliminary discussions that White would be guilty of the offence even if the animal was dead before it was cooked.

White pleaded guilty on the basis that his rough handling of the animal killed it before he put it in the pan.

District Judge Roy Anderson, who stressed he was sentencing White on this basis, said: “By virtue of your treatment of this small, unfortunate rodent, you’ve destroyed your good character and acquired a criminal conviction.

“It’s accepted now that there was rough handling of that animal but that it couldn’t be established that it was putting it in the frying pan and applying heat that caused its death.

“Had that sadistic conduct been established I would be dealing with you in a far more serious way than I am.”

In addition to 120 hours of unpaid work, White was also banned from keeping animals for eight years and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the costs of the case.