Mary Bale, the woman who sparked international outrage after callously dumping a cat into a wheelie bin was today charged with animal cruelty.
The 45-year-old hit headlines after she was caught on CCTV stroking four-year-old tabby Lola before throwing her into a bin.
The terrified cat was trapped for 15 hours before her owners Stephanie Andrews-Mann, 24, and husband Darryl, 26, finally found her the following morning.
Bank clerk Mary, signed off sick from work with stress in the wake of the incident, has been charged with two animal cruelty offences by the Royal Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (RSPCA).
She will appear before Coventry Magistrates Court next month accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and not providing an animal with a suitable environment.
RSPCA spokeswoman Judith Haw said: ”Mary Elizabeth Bale from St Michaels Road in Coventry is due to appear before Coventry Magistrates Court on Tuesday 19 October at 10am to face two criminal charges, contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
”The RSPCA has taken the case to court as two alleged offences have been committed; of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and of not providing the animal with a suitable environment.
”Ms Bale was witnessed on CCTV footage stroking a cat, then looking round and picking the cat up by the scruff of its neck before putting it in a wheelie bin, shutting the lid and walking away from the scene. At no point did she return.
”The cat was trapped in the bin for approximately 15 hours.
”As criminal proceedings are now active the RSPCA will not be issuing any further statements or completing interview requests until conclusion of the court case.”
Grey-haired Mary shocked audiences around the world after she was caught on CCTV grabbing Lola by the scruff of the neck, throwing her in a wheelie bin and slamming the lid shut.
The footage then captured her calmly walking away from the scene, leaving defenceless Lola trapped in the bin in the scorching August heat.
Owners Darryl and Stephanie Andrews-Mann, who installed CCTV outside their home in Coventry, Warks., two years earlier, were shocked when they found Lola in the bin 15 hours later.
But their shock turned to horror when they reviewed the footage from their video camera and saw a middle-aged woman calmly stroking the cat and looking both ways before lifting their bin lid and plunging the animal inside.
They posted the 1:27 video online in a bid to track down the culprit and Mary was identified within a matter of days.
She will now appear before magistrates in Coventry on October 19th faced with causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and of not providing the animal with a suitable environment.
The RSPCA confirmed that offences under the Animal Welfare Act can carry a prison sentence and lifetime ban from keeping animals.