Ex-Zookeeper Cleared of Love-Triangle Assault

A meerkat handler, monkey expert, and llama-keeper, oh my!
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2016 8:13 AM CST
Ex-Zookeeper Cleared of Love-Triangle Assault
Keeper Caroline Westlake counts the meerkats at London Zoo on Jan. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Finally, legal closure in a tumultuous zookeeper love triangle across the pond—and perhaps the best lead-in sentence you'll read all week: "A former meerkat expert at London Zoo was cleared Tuesday of assaulting a monkey handler in a love spat over a llama-keeper" is how the AP describes the British High Court's reversal Tuesday of the conviction of Caroline Westlake (the meerkat expert), accused of assaulting Kate Sanders (the monkey handler) at a 2014 Christmas party. Both women had dated Adam Davies (the llama-keeper), and Westlake was said to have hit Sanders in the face with a wineglass after an argument.

But while the lower court had found Westlake acted "recklessly but not intentionally" in injuring Sanders (the Guardian notes Sanders needed three stitches on her cheek to close up the wound), the High Court justices also took "recklessly" out of the equation, noting that the lower court had used an erroneous test for recklessness. A lawyer for Westlake, who was fired from the London Zoo after the incident, says, "Ms. Westlake's life has been destroyed by something that was no more than an unfortunate accident. Justice has now been served and Ms. Westlake would now appreciate the opportunity to put this matter behind her and rebuild her life." (In a Houston love triangle, a pregnant woman took on another pregnant woman.)

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