A STUDENT is to appear in court in August accused of cooking a hamster alive in a flat in York city centre.

James White, 20, of Popes Head Court, off Market Street, York, was due to appear before York Magistrates today, but his case was adjourned without him being asked to step into the courtroom, at his solicitor Kevin Blount’s request.

Mr Blount wanted time so the defence can prepare documents before White is asked to plead.

Phil Brown, on behalf of the RSPCA which is prosecuting the case, did not object, and White was allowed to leave the courthouse without appearing before magistrates.

He will appear before the court in August.

The charge against him says that, on February 4 at York, he caused unnecessary suffering to a female Syrian hamster by subjecting it to hyperthermia, or overheating it.

The charge was brought after police were called to his home address and discovered the body of a hamster. The pet is believed to have belonged to a flatmate of White.