Mary Bale, the notorious “Cat Bin Lady” of Coventry, England, had her day in court. Remember, she was the woman who who pushed Lola, a friendly tabby, into a trash can and closed the lid, leaving Lola trapped for the next 18 hours there until her owners found her.
Bale could have gotten a maximum of 6 months in prison and a £20,000 fine.
She was sentenced to a £250 fine, a £15 victim surcharge, and court costs of £1,171. And she’s not allowed to own a small animal for 5 years.
Bale’s only defense was that she was distraught about her father, who wasn’t doing well after a fall. He died last week.
Her lawyer said that Bale has been depressed since her bizarre crime was caught on tape. She resigned from her job as a bank teller and, after much soul-searching, is still is unable to offer a plausible explanation for why she suddenly wanted somebody’s pet cat to slowly starve to death in a stinky plastic tomb or get chewed up in the back of a garbage truck.
Critics of the sentence are saying that Bale should have gotten at least 18 hours in a dark prison cell so she could experience what she put Lola through.
As one cat to another, I was able to get Lola’s reaction to the verdict by e-mail. She wrote:
Had I known that being nice to that daft human would lead to her trying to do me in and ruin her own life in the process, I would have stayed in the bushes and let the Doberman down the block have his way with her.
I also asked her about the victim surcharge money. She replied:
If it comes to me, I’ll have me owners buy me a collar equipped with a Swiss army knife. Sometimes claws just ain’t enough.