Just over half (54%) of the population think that Mary Bale, dubbed ‘cat bin lady’ by some after CCTV footage caught her dumping a pet cat in a bin, has received the right punishment for her actions, our poll shows. The 45-year-old from Coventry was fined £250 last week for causing unnecessary suffering to 4-year-old household pet Lola, after dumping her in a bin outside her owner’s home.
- 54% think the punishment is about right, while 14% think it is too harsh.
- However, nearly three in ten people (29%) think the punishment was too lenient.
‘Impulsive and irrational’
The ex-bank clerk was also instructed to pay £1,171 in costs to the RSPCA, and banned from keeping or owning animals for the next five years. However, a second charge of ‘failing to provide the cat with a suitable environment’, from the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, was dropped.
Bale’s defence solicitor argued that she was ‘impulsive and irrational’ at the time or the incident, due to the grave illness of her father, who has since died. The court heard that Bale was suffering anxiety and depression, and has since resigned from her bank job, where she has been for 27 years.
The worldwide vilification of Mary Bale since the video of her cat attack went viral on the internet has perhaps been punishment beyond anything the courts could order. Facebook officials removed a group entitled ‘Death to Mary Bale’ from the site after it became a focal point for hundreds of angry messages and threats.