Zoo lovers tiff ends in payout

By Sarah Harvey

Caroline Westlake PHOTO: PA
Caroline Westlake PHOTO: PA

A nasty love triangle at London Zoo that saw a meerkat-keeper attack a monkey handler has resulted in an £800 compensation payout.

Caroline Westlake, who worked in the meerkat enclosure at London zoo, was last month convicted of assault by beating after glassing her colleague, Kate Sanders, in the face.  The pair were fighting over llama-keeper Adam Davies, who previously dated Sanders for five years, started a relationship with Westlake.

According to The Guardian Sanders saw the couple together for the first time at the Zoo’s staff Christmas party in December last year and made a comment about Westlake’s appearance. The pair argued, a fight ensued and Sanders ended up with a wound that needed stitches.

Westlake, 30, cried in the dock as she was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £800 in compensation to Sanders and £200 in costs, The Guardian said.

District judge Jeremy Coleman said Westlake was fortunate to not to have been convicted of a more serious charge.

“It’s an unpleasant injury to someone’s face which makes it rather worse. It was caused by a glass so an object was used so really a more serious charge against you could easily have been justified.”

Westlake, who had worked at the zoo for four and a half years, was fired from her job. Sanders was given a final warning and banned from Zoological Society of London events for two years.


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