A rat prevented a man being sentenced for various offences at court this week.Not the worst offences, frankly. But even so, just how did a rat end up preventing justice taking its course?
Allan Rex Page, 39, was before Bedford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to being in possession of cannabis, travelling on the railway without paying the fare and begging on a train.Note: that’s ‘rat’. A small pet rat.
He was due to be sentenced after a previous adjournment for the preparation of probation reports, but the court heard that this could not be done because he had turned up to the appointment with the probation service with his pet rat in his pocket.
Not a spitting cobra, black widow spider, or even a wild, disease-harbouring rat.
A domestic pet.
Page of Coxs Way, Arlesey, told the magistrates he was sorry and that his sixmonth- old albino rat called Rizla went everywhere with him.I can’t say that it would occur to me, either, given the size of the animal. A dog would be different, perhaps.
He said: “I had cycled from Hitchin to Bedford that day and I didn’t realise that I couldn’t bring the animal with me.”
But why, exactly, did the probation staff promptly abandon their jobs and refuse to work when confronted with a small rodent?
“They said it was for hygiene reasons...”Oh, I’m sure the rat wouldn’t have minded! (Yes, the old ones are the best…)
Seriously, this is ludicrous! Even if his assigned probation shirker was rodent phobic, couldn’t someone else have stepped in? Or found a container for the rat for the duration of the interview?
Wasn’t there a manager on hand to tell them to get on with the job we pay them to do?