Shaman fraudster Juliette D’Souza’s caged monkey highlights case for ban on pet primates
- Credit: Archant
An animal welfare campaigner enjoyed an emotional reunion with her former Hampstead neighbour – a disabled monkey that was imprisoned in a cage by notorious shaman fraudster Juliette D’Souza.
Angela Humphery, 84, a well-known stalwart of countless animal causes, travelled to Cornwall last week to visit the Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary which has housed black-capped capuchin Joey since his rescue in 2007.
It was the first time she has seen him since D’Souza was jailed for 10 years in May, for swindling £1million from vulnerable people by posing as a faith healer.
Ms Humphery said: “I wanted to hug him and I nearly cried when I saw him.
“He’s been there for seven years now and they have done a wonderful job with him.
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“When he arrived, they thought they would have to euthanise him, he was in such a terrible state, both physically and mentally.”
Joey was taken in by the sanctuary after being discovered abandoned in a cage in a flat in Willoughby Road, Hampstead – a few metres from Ms Humphery’s house in the same street.
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It was later revealed to be the home of D’Souza, who kept him locked up for nine years without natural sunlight or exercise, leaving him physically and mentally scarred.
Despite his various debilitating health issues including rickets and a fused spine, he made a miraculous recovery to become a happy and sociable creature.
Ms Humphery has sponsored his care since she first learned of his suffering so close to her own home, through a Ham&High article in 2008.
When D’Souza was convicted and jailed earlier this year, she celebrated by donating an additional £1,000 to the sanctuary, and hailed the outcome as “Justice for Joey”.
She said: “When I first met Joey, of course his owner had not been caught.
“It may not have been for animal cruelty, but nevertheless she’s now in prison for 10 years.”
She added: “I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the plight of pet monkeys.”
Ms Humphery recently wrote an autobiography charting her many decades of animal welfare work, titled Memoirs of a Party Animal, which she dedicated to her former neighbour.
In recent weeks, the RSPCA has called for a ban on keeping primates as pets, while the government is also looking at the issue.
There are about 5,000 in private homes in the UK.
Rachel Hevesi, director of Wild Futures, which has long called for a ban, said ministers seems to be “inching towards” such a measure.
She said Joey was one of the worst cases she has ever witnessed and added: “Joey is a tragic example of how there are too many loopholes in the law and too many grey areas that enable people to keep monkeys, with tragic consequences for their physical and psychological health.”