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Giant rat discovered under Highgate dishwasher as bins overflow onto streets

PUBLISHED: 10:00 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:32 23 May 2013

Adrian Whitaker holding the rat he caught and killed.

Adrian Whitaker holding the rat he caught and killed.

Archant

A giant rat is not something you generally expect to find beneath your dishwasher.

Overflowing bins in Milton Avenue.Overflowing bins in Milton Avenue.

But that’s exactly what Adrian Whitaker and his wife discovered while finishing dinner at their Highgate home recently.

The couple, who live in Milton Park, were watching television in their kitchen when they heard the snap of a mouse trap, laid months previously, from underneath the dishwasher.

Pulling back the skirting board around the machine, Mr Whitaker, 34, found a rat the size of a small dog staring back at him.

Recalling the discovery, he said: “My wife was beside me and I said, ‘I don’t think you want to see this’. I think my caveman instincts kicked in and I thought, ‘I’ve got to get this out’.

“The rat was dazed by a tiny little £1 mouse trap which must have stunned it enough for me to sweep it out. I picked it up with a bag and frogmarched it out of the front door with my wife screaming behind me.

“I then took some firewood to it and it took a few hits to kill it. It’s the first time I’ve killed anything so I felt a bit of guilt after.”

Astounded by the size of the rodent, the father-of-one, who stands at 6ft 5in, photographed himself holding the dead rat - its body alone measuring the length of his forearm.

The software developer, who is also secretary of the Miltons Residents Association, believes a problem with overflowing bins in the area may be to blame for the appearance of such large vermin.

Residents in the area have been complaining about the issue since Haringey Council introduced fortnightly collections of general waste in place of weekly collections last year.

They claim that densely populated streets with buildings housing multiple flats, such as Milton Avenue and Milton Road, generate too much waste for fortnightly collections to manage.

Highgate councillor Rachel Allison said the constant sight of rubbish strewn across pavements in the Miltons constituted a “complete lack of civil pride” and insisted the only solution was for Haringey Council to revert to weekly collections.

She said: “I find it hard to believe there isn’t a direct relationship between the amount of rubbish spilling on to the streets and the appearance of a massive rat. Perhaps the next highly paid council position will be the Pied Piper of Haringey.”

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “We are aware of and understand the concerns expressed by residents of the Miltons and are committed to doing all that we can to find a solution to these issues.

“We are currently actively engaging with residents on how the current system is working through our satisfaction survey. All residents are encouraged to complete this and send it back to us by Friday, May 31.

“Findings of this survey – together with comments recorded at a recent meeting with members of the Miltons Residents Association – will then be further considered by the council.”

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