07/03/2013 08:03 GMT | Updated 07/03/2013 09:36 GMT

York Student James White Fried Hamster In Drunken 'Madness'

A student who fried a hamster in a drunken moment of "madness" has been ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid of work in the community.

James White, 21, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the female Syrian hamster after a court accepted it could not be established whether the animal was alive when it went into the pan.

District Judge Roy Anderson told White he was sentencing him on the basis the rodent died minutes before, when the defendant was handling it last February.

Selby Magistrates' Court heard White had drunk so much in his flat in York he was "on the point of madness" and could not remember what happened.

The York University student, who was prosecuted by the RSPCA, was charged with "causing unnecessary suffering to an adult female Syrian hamster by subjecting her to hyperthermia".

District Judge Anderson said it was clear the hamster did not die of natural causes and there was a degree of mystery about the incident.

The pet is believed to have belonged to a flatmate of White, according to local media York Press.

A spokesperson for York University said:

"We note the decision of the court. As this matter has not been raised formally as a disciplinary issue under University regulations, we propose to take no further action."