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Her owner’s in prison, but Amy’s no longer behind bars

Phone-snatch thief who is serving jail sentence kept exotic monkey in a bird cage at his Highbury flat

30 June, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Amy, a baby Marmoset monkey, is now living at the Monkey World sanctuary in Dorset, where she has been adopted. PHOTO: MONKEY WORLD

AN exotic monkey that was kept in a bird cage by one of Islington’s most prolific young criminals has regained her zest for life in a Dorset sanctuary.

The Marmoset monkey, known as Amy, was discovered in a terrible state at the Highbury flat of Zuriel Hutson, 21, a convicted snatch thief who was jailed after driving up the M11 the wrong way on a stolen moped during a police chase last year.

Following his arrest last October, officers attended Hutson’s home after he breached an existing criminal behaviour order, and found Amy trapped in a small cage without heating.

Hutson found himself back in court this week charged with animal cruelty. He was found guilty of failing to ensure the welfare of the monkey he was keeping at his one-bedroom flat. At Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday he was fined £500, ordered to pay court costs of £650 and was banned from keeping animals indefinitely.

Zuriel Hutson

Hutson, who is understood to have bought the baby monkey a week before he was arrested, also failed to feed her properly.

Dr Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, where one-year-old Amy has been placed, said she has been adopted by an adult pair who have also just adopted an older brother.

“She plays with them and they’re quite a tight-knit family now,” said Dr Cronin.

“She’s quite young, a year and a bit, and when we got her back and set her alongside her adopted family she instantly started making baby calls to them, and when we get them young enough, the adults will adopt them quite readily.

“It was quite a happy ending for Amy the Marmoset. She’s in the right environment and she is being given additional vitamins for bone development. She’s got a natural outside enclosure full of birds and insects. All is good for Amy.”

Parents Milo, who was rescued by Basingstoke Police, and Clydie, who was confiscated by Mer­sey­side Police, as well as brother Ceasar, who was voluntarily given away by a family, are doing well, she said.

A primate expert, who inspected Amy at Hutson’s address, concluded that she appeared to be underweight, lacked muscle tone and had a dirty, ungroomed coat.

The expert said “the marmoset was experiencing unnecessary suffering, both physically and mentally”, and if it had not been removed the animal would have died.

The bird cage that Amy the monkey lived in at 21-year-old Zuriel Hutson’s Highbury flat

Hutson was charged with animal cruelty in January under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He made headlines earlier this year after the Met Police released footage of a chase in which he was seen driving a stolen moped at high speeds and weaving in and out of traffic on the wrong side of the carriageway, before he was caught by police who used a “stinger” tyre deflation device to slow him down.

He was jailed in April for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal, dangerous driving and breach of a criminal behaviour order.

Hutson and his accomplice, Sharuk Sheraji, 22, from Hoxton, went on a phone-snatch spree across north and east London on June 26 last year. They stole 18 phones out of the hands of unsuspecting members of the public.

In May 2015, Hutson was among a group of teenagers who rode through Barnsbury on mopeds armed with knives, swords and machetes while chasing another group of youths. All were given criminal behaviour orders (CBOs) and sentenced to more than six years’ detention between them in September last year.

Commenting on Hutson’s latest conviction, DC Ben Jefferd, the investigating officer from the Central North Command Unit, said: “It is obviously very cruel to keep any animal, let alone an exotic monkey, in such poor conditions without the proper training or understanding of its needs.

“Amy is now safe and enjoying the facilities kindly supplied at Monkey World.

“Thanks to a ban handed down at court today, Hutson is prohibited from keeping any animal again indefinitely.”

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