Rockingham: man has pet python confiscated

A MAN who kept a WA python as a pet has had it confiscated by Wildlife officers.

Shae Anthony Gauntley-Belton pleaded guilty to having kept fauna in captivity or confinement when he appeared via video link from Hakea Prison at the Rockingham Magistrates Court on November 4.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) prosecutor said the reptile was discovered after police conducted a search at Gauntley-Belton’s house on November 25 last year.

She said police found a Stimsons python in a container. Police contacted DPAW, which sent officers to seize the snake.

It was held in a secure reptile facility where health checks were conducted and it was found to be free from injury or disease.

Magistrate Leanne Atkins fined Gauntley-Belton $200 and ordered forfeiture of the animal.

“If you possess a reptile, you must have a licence,” she said. “That is for your protection and that of the reptile.”

On August 25, Gauntley-Belton was sentenced at the District Court for cannabis cultivation with intent to sell or supply.

At a Rockingham property, police found 47 cannabis plants and a hydroponics set-up with fans, lights, timers and power transformers. Gauntley-Belton was sentenced to a term of eight months imprisonment.