What's all the fuss? It's just a cat, says woman seen on CCTV shoving tabby in wheelie bin

By Claire Ellicott

Outrage: Mary Bale, of Coventry, who has been named as the woman caught on CCTV dropping a cat into a wheelie bin

Smiling broadly at the camera after her church choir's annual dinner, she has a warm expression that gives no hint of the cruel act she is accused of committing.

But Mary Bale, 45, has caused outrage after being caught on video picking up four-year-old tabby cat Lola and throwing her into a wheelie bin.

Miss Bale has received death threats, and a Facebook page set up to track her down has attracted more than 18,000 members.

But she claimed the outcry had been blown out of all proportion.

She said: 'I don't know what the fuss is about. It's just a cat.'

The unmarried bank worker said she was just walking home on Saturday when she saw the cat and decided to play with it. But she told the Sun that she 'suddenly thought it would be funny' to put it in the bin.

'I did it as a joke because I thought it would be funny. I never thought it would be trapped, I expected it to wriggle out,' she said.

Referring to the CCTV footage, she told how she could not believe it was being seen around the world and was afraid it would upset her family.

She said: 'I don't know what my relatives will think but to be honest I think everyone is overreacting a bit.'

While Miss Bale admitted she should not have done it, she said she did not deserve to be 'hated' by everyone and assumed the cat would find its own way out the bin.

Her mother also insisted the unmarried bank clerk 'loved cats' - and had even kept them as pets as a child.

Celia Bale, 78, said: 'She's my daughter and as far as I'm concerned she is the most caring person you could ever wish to meet.

'She had cats when she was a little girl and has never shown any cruelty to animals before in her life - she loves animals.

'I talked to her on the phone today and she can't explain why she did it or what got into her head, only that she really regrets it.'

The mother-of-three added that her husband Maurice, Miss Bale's father, was in a critical condition after falling down the stairs last week, damaging his pelvis and vertebrae.

Reunited: Lola back with owner Darryl Mann yesterday. He posted footage of the incident, which was captured by a CCTV camera, on YouTube in a bid to catch the culprit

She said of her daughter: 'She's been under a great deal of strain these past two weeks.

'Her father had a nasty fall and has been in a critical condition in hospital ever since.

'She's very close to her father and I think it's had a real impact on her.

'She's been soldiering on but I think it has got to her more than I realised.

'I'm awfully worried about her because people have been saying some dreadful things about her and making threats.'

She added that she believed her daughter might keep animals if she didn't work.

'I know that sounds ironic considering what has happened, but she does love cats,' she said.

It was also revealed last night that Miss Bale, who lives in Coventry and works as a cashier at RBS in nearby Rugby, was once a member of the Birmingham Bach Choir.

Miss Bale was caught on camera in Coventry as she threw the cat into the wheelie bin this weekend.

Lola was found 15 hours later when owner Darryl Mann, 26, heard her mewing from inside the bin.

Members of a Facebook group set up by Lola's owners to identify the woman in the CCTV footage have posted death threats against Miss Bale.

Miss Bale seems harmless as she strokes four-year-old cat, Lola, as it walks along a wall on a street in Coventry. But she then grabs it by the scruff of its neck, puts it in a wheelie bin and casually walks away

One wrote 'throw her in the bin and see how she likes it', while others called for her to be killed. Last night, owner Stephanie Andrews-Mann, 24, said she was glad the culprit had been found and hoped she'd be brought to justice.

She said: 'All I wanted was a name so I could pass it on to the police. It's terrible that her dad's in hospital, but to be totally honest, it's not my cat's problem.

'Though what she did was totally wrong, I don't want her to be too petrified to go out.'

West Midlands Police were keeping watch outside Miss Bale's terraced home yesterday and a spokesman said she had been offered advice on how to stay safe.

Neighbours described her as a reclusive woman who rarely had visitors. One, who asked not to be named, said: 'She is a very nice lady, though very quiet.
The police and RSPCA investigation is continuing.

source: dailymail