Search

Police find 20 pythons and samurai swords in Highbury flat drugs raid

06:58 02 August 2012

Pythons, tarantulas and swords were found in the raid in Highbury

Pythons, tarantulas and swords were found in the raid in Highbury

2010 Getty Images

Police raiding a flat to search for drugs got a big surprise when they stumbled upon a zoo of exotic creatures – including up to 20 pythons – and a collection of samurai swords.

Officers from the Highbury West Safer Neighbourhoods team found large tanks containing tarantulas and pythons – one of which was 18 feet long – in the property on the Stephens Ink Estate, off Gillespie Road, Highbury.

They also discovered a fearsome arsenal of bladed weapons, including ninja stars, knives and four samurai swords.

Pc Neil Hodgman, of the Highbury West Safer Neighbourhoods team, said: “I have never been involved in a warrant like it.

“There were huge heated tanks dotted all over the place that seemed to take up most of the room. There were three or four really big pythons, one 18 feet long. These things were massive, they had heads as big as fists.”

Two officers taking part in the operation on Tuesday morning were so scared of the animals they opted to stand outside and wait.

As the team forced entry to the flat, they were confronted by two dogs which had to be controlled with shields and fire extinguishers.

Pc Hodgman added: “We knew the dogs would be there, but we didn’t know anything at all about the reptiles.” The officer said the animals appeared to be well looked after.

Residents were amazed at what was in the flat. Paul Richards, 41, of the Stephens Ink Estate, said: “It’s a bit of a shocker. You never know what’s behind someone else’s door.”

Bags containing cannabis and cash were seized in the raid, but the animals and weapons were left. Two men, aged 47 and 23, were arrested for possession with intent to supply and have been bailed to return to police.

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 17:47
Michael Otshudi was sentenced to 18 months

Two men have been jailed over the shooting of a good Samaritan who was trying to break up a brawl at a wake – but police believe the gunman is still at large nine months on.

Yesterday, 13:31
Mehmet Ozer celebrates his £303,465.20 EuroMillions win at his workshop in Caledonian Road, Islington. Picture: Ady Kerry/Camelot

A lucky upholsterer has a foot on the housing ladder after decades of renting – thanks to a £300,000 EuroMillions win.

Yesterday, 10:43
Cllr Claudia Webbe with the solar panel array at Islington's Reuse and Recycling Centre. Picture: Islington Council

Islington Council expects electricity savings of £1.5 million over the next 30 years, after installing more than 1,800 solar panels on three of its buildings.

Yesterday, 09:41
Flowers at the scene of the crash where Lewis Johnson, 18, died on Tuesday (Picture: Ken Mears)

Tributes have continued to pour in for 18-year-old Lewis “lighty Lew” Johnson, who died on Tuesday after his motor scooter collided with a van following a police chase.

Thu, 18:16
Dangerous: The junction of Pentonville Road and Islington High Street (Picture: Google StreetView)

Campaigners say “urgent” action must be taken over a deadly Islington junction after figures ranked it in the top 10 most dangerous for London’s pedestrians.

Thu, 14:00
Feeding pigeons in the Palmer Estate could lead to eviction, the letter said. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA WIRE

Heavy-handed town hall officials made a bizarre threat to evict council tenants because they had been feeding pigeons.

Thu, 12:53
This Girl Can Islington launched in Sobell Leisure Centre last week

A “genuinely affordable” campaign has been launched to break down barriers women and girls face in getting exercise.

Thu, 12:23
Pentonville Prison (Picture: PA Wire)

One of Britain’s longest-serving murderers is the only man to have escaped from Pentonville prison in the last five years, a Gazette investigation has revealed.

Most read news

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe