RSPCA considers cat woman prosecution

The case against a woman who was caught on CCTV dumping a cat in a wheelie bin will be considered by the RSPCA's prosecutions department, the charity said today.

Footage of Mary Bale throwing four-year-old tabby Lola into a bin sparked outrage and made international headlines, with some animal lovers calling for her death on social networking site Facebook.



It also led to an investigation by the RSPCA, which this morning said it was in the process of compiling a "full file" on Ms Bale.



A spokeswoman said: "Mary Bale has been interviewed by an RSPCA inspector and a full file is being compiled and will be sent for review by the prosecutions department."



Ms Bale, from the Stoke area of Coventry, yesterday said she was "profoundly sorry" for her actions, describing the incident as "a split second of misjudgment".



In a statement released to the media, the 45-year-old bank worker said: "I want to take this opportunity to apologise profusely for the upset and distress that my actions have caused.



"I cannot explain why I did this, it is completely out of character and I certainly did not intend to cause any distress to Lola or her owners."



Pledging to "co-operate fully" with the RSPCA, she added: "It was a split second of misjudgment that has got completely out of control.



"I wish to reiterate that I am profoundly sorry for my actions and wish to resolve this matter to everyone's satisfaction as soon as possible."



Ms Bale's apology came after police revealed they were "closely monitoring" online threats to her.



Hundreds of people posted angry messages on Facebook after a clip showing Lola being thrown into the green rubbish bin was uploaded by her owners.



A spokeswoman for the social networking site said a group entitled Death to Mary Bale had been removed for contravening Facebook's terms of use.



Some used the site to publish Ms Bale's address, while others called for her to be violently punished. One Facebook user said she should be "repeatedly head butted", while another wrote: "She should be flogged to within an inch of her life, the evil b****."



West Midlands Police described some of the group's content as "inflammatory and offensive".



A spokeswoman said: "We have monitored Facebook to assess any threat of harm to Mary Bale as part of this investigation.



"The investigation is being led by the RSPCA but obviously the other strand of this now is Mary Bale's safety and we are looking at the potential impact of these messages."



Lola's owners, Stephanie and Darryl Mann, of Bray's Lane in Coventry, said they were "stunned" by the reaction to the footage, taken from security cameras outside their home.



The couple urged people to let the RSPCA deal with Ms Bale and "not take matters into their own hands".



In the clip, Ms Bale is seen stroking the cat before picking it up by the scruff of the neck and dumping it in the bin.



Lola, who was trapped for 15 hours, emerged unscathed and is said to be fully recovered from the ordeal.

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