1. Headline
  1. Headline
TODAY staff and wire
updated 10/19/2010 12:08:11 PM ET 2010-10-19T16:08:11

A British woman caught on tape stroking a cat, picking it up by the scruff of its neck and casually throwing it into its owners' trash bin pleaded guilty to a single charge of animal cruelty Tuesday.

  1. Stories from
    1. Orange Is the New Black Stars Win Big in Christian Siriano Gowns
    2. Watch Those As the World Turns Scenes Julianne Moore Mentioned in Her SAG Award Speech
    3. The SAG Awards Brought Together Our Favorite '90s Crushes
    4. Miss Colombia Paulina Vega Wins Miss Universe
    5. Viola Davis Calls Out Her 4-Year-Old Daughter in Heartfelt SAG Awards Acceptance Speech

Footage of Mary Bale's bizarre attack on 4-year-old Lola outraged animal lovers across the world when it was posted online this summer. The video, shot by a security camera installed by Lola's owners following a spate of thefts in their area, has been seen more than 1.2 million times on YouTube.

Even though Lola was eventually recovered unharmed after its owners heard its muffled cries from inside the bin angry Internet users pledged retribution and police had to post guards outside her home.

Bale, a 45-year-old bank worker, has described the incident as a "split second of misjudgment that has got completely out of control" but offered no explanation for why she did it. She pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Coventry Magistrates' Court, in central England.

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. 12 simple #StartTODAY tips to get healthy and organized

      #StartTODAY's experts Jill Martin, Jean Chatzky, Jenna Wolfe and Joy Bauer answered viewers questions on organizing, dieti...

    2. 'SNL' tackles Deflate-Gate with press-conference parody
    3. Donald Trump talks Miss Universe pageant, looking at presidential run
    4. Jason Mraz ‘pumped’ to be arts ambassador for California school
    5. Super Bowl advertisements will show tender moments of fatherhood

The court fined her 250 pounds (just over $395) and ordered her to pay more than 1,100 pounds ($1,800) in costs.

District judge Caroline Goulborn told Bale that she was taking into account the media interest surrounding the case, which "has resulted in you being vilified in some quarters" as well as the condition of Bale's elderly father, who was gravely ill at the time.

"I accept that you were in a stressful situation at the time, but that's no excuse for what you did," Goulborn said.

Bale, who appeared close to tears during the hearing, was also banned from keeping or owning animals for the next five years.

Story: Cat-tossing lady: I didn't mean to cause 'distress'

Bale was first identified after the video showing her dumping Lola was posted by the cat's owners, Stephanie Andrews-Mann and her husband Darryl.

The Manns, who removed the video after Bale reportedly received death threats, have said they felt "stunned" at the angry reaction, the BBC reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Cat dumped in trash bin

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. 'SNL' tackles Deflate-Gate with press-conference parody

    1/25/2015 3:17:42 PM +00:00 +00:00 2015-01-25T15:17:42
  1. TODAY

    12 simple #StartTODAY tips to get healthy and organized

    1/25/2015 5:29:58 PM +00:00 +00:00 2015-01-25T17:29:58
  1. Shutterstock

    From the cave to your plate: 4 ways to make paleo work for you

    1/25/2015 12:59:00 PM +00:00 +00:00 2015-01-25T12:59:00
  1. TODAY

    video Jason Mraz ‘pumped’ to be arts ambassador for California school

    1/25/2015 2:41:08 PM +00:00 +00:00 2015-01-25T14:41:08
  1. TODAY

    video Tips on staying motivated, cutting major calories

    1/25/2015 2:39:59 PM +00:00 +00:00 2015-01-25T14:39:59