23 February 2017 | 9 °C

The Great Plague of Staines

M@
By M@ Last edited 114 months ago
The Great Plague of Staines
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Sometimes a story comes along that is so unbelievable it can only be presented in the style of The Sun, with lots of emboldened words. This is one such story.

A couple face jail after inspectors found 316 rats in their one-bedroom flat. Stephanie Taylor and John Gooch of Staines kept the rodents in what sounds like atrocious conditions. The creatures were crammed into small cages, living on top of each other. Many had abscesses, and were forced to wallow in their own excreta (Sun readers: that's piss and shit). Dead rats were left in the mix, for bad measure.

"They were in the kitchen, living room and there was a wardrobe full of them. They were even in the walls," said RSPCA officer Dave Johnson.

Taylor, previously banned from owning animals, started with a pair of rats from a pet shop. And guess what? They bred. Like rats. The couple are now being prosecuted for what must be the greatest cruelty to rodents since the Pied Piper acquired a threshing machine.

Last Updated 30 August 2007