Man charged after drugs police find caiman in house

A man has been charged after police found a four-foot spectacled caiman and several snakes in a house while searching it as part of a drugs investigation.

The reptiles were found at an address in Westcliff-on-Sea during a search in January, Essex Police said.

Lee Thompson, 36, of Napier Close, Basildon, has been charged with several drug and animal-related offences.

He is charged with being concerned in the production of cannabis, two counts of breaching a ban on keeping a dangerous wild animal and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Thompson is also charged with two counts of keeping a dangerous wild animal other than under the authority of a licence granted in accordance with the provisions of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

He is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates' Court on April 6.