Fed-up worker sends boss tarantula in the post


Blackleaf
#1
Fed-up worker sends boss tarantula in the post
5th July 2006





Mahlon Hector, above, and a tarantula, similar to the one he sent his boss



A disgruntled worker who sent a live venomous spider in a package to a colleague at work today escaped being sent to jail.

Mahlon Hector sent the Mexican red-kneed tarantula - the type used in films for its scary appearance - to a female employee at a Marks & Spencer branch in Leicester.

He delivered the parcel to his boss on his last day as an operative at the Fosse Park store on March 28, Leicester Magistrates' Court heard today.

The 22-year-old, from Sharpley Drive, Leicester, pleaded guilty to conveying a threatening communication at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor Richard Meadows told the court that Hector bought the tarantula a few days before his notice period ended, packaged it up and arranged for it to be delivered to his line manager Susan Griffin.

The 46-year-old was shocked, but not injured and the potentially dangerous arachnid - an endangered species - was removed by the RSPCA.

'Practical joke'

Daniel Howe, defending, said Hector sent the package as a practical joke after discussing the idea with colleagues during his final days in the job.

"The idea was brought up about playing a practical joke on his boss on his final day at work," Mr Howe said.

"Unfortunately he went further than just talking and decided to carry it out."

The court heard that Hector, who has not found work since leaving M&S, intended to be in the room when the parcel was opened but was called away to a meeting.

Mr Howe said: "He acted without thinking. This was a foolish, stupid thing to do, but he did not mean to cause any serious physical or psychological harm to the recipient. He has learned his lesson."

The solicitor said Hector was assured when he bought the spider that it would cause harm "no greater than a bee sting" if it was to bite.

Miss Griffin, the court was told, still suffers anxiety when she is required to open a parcel and has trouble sleeping.

Magistrate Barry Starbuck said Hector had avoided custody because of his guilty plea and the number of good character references that had been submitted to the court.

He ordered the defendant to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay Miss Griffin 200 in compensation.

The RSPCA condemned Hector's actions. A spokesman said: "It was a daft idea. They are not the most dangerous spider, but it could be fatal if it is given to someone who has an allergic reaction to it."

The Mexican red-kneed tarantula - Latin name Brachypelma smithi - is said to be the most common spider used in movies because of its striking features.

It has a leg span of up to 10 inches, a distinctive dark brown body and legs with reddish-orange joints and large claws.

dailymail.co.uk
 
missile
#2
My surprise at the parcel being delivered intact The Handle With Care stickers used to just be a challenge to us
 

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