Snake Lover Killed by His 8ft Long 'Baby' Pet Python

Dan Brandon with one of his collection of snakes. He was found dead in his bedroom with Tiny an African rock python free from its vivarium

Dan's parents, along with his brother and sister, attended Basingstoke Coroners' Court to find out the verdict on the death, which took place on 25 August past year.

The African Rock Python is not on the list of species which require owners to have a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act.

Coroner Andrew Bradley recently appeared in court to share his findings.

A coroner has ruled the death of a British man found lying on his bedroom floor mid-last year the result of "misadventure" with a rock python named Tiny.

Mr Newman said the case should not be used to raise safety concerns about keeping snakes. He also stated that he did not believe the python was acting aggressively toward Brandon, and that instead the most likely scenario was that the reptile had been coiling around him in an affectionate way. "He was an experienced herpetologist who cared for his reptiles and would have had a good relationship with his animals".

Brandon's mother, Babs, described Tiny as "strong" and "unpredictable." according to the report. "He had been keeping snakes for 16 years and it showed", Cooper said.

"The most likely scenario is that Tiny was engaged with Dan, I have no doubt about that", he said.

Barbara explained how on the night of her son's death she'd heard a noise from his room that sounded like a heavy object falling over. When Brandon got Tiny he could hold it in his hand.


The Daily Mail reported that mum Babs is now looking after the pets, saying that the python loved her son.

"She was his baby". While Tiny had her cranky days and could lash out defensively, the inquiry was told she had never bitten Brandon.

She said Brandon had been caring for snakes since he was 15, and that he had Tiny since she was a baby. Bradley said that the snake then hid may be "because of the shock of him falling or because of his reaction". She was coiling around him, at which point I have no idea.

Pathologist Dr Adman al-Badri said his diagnosis of asphyxiation was one he came to by exclusion, but said what he found included a haemorrhage behind one eye, plus burst blood vessels, and congested lungs - another sign of asphyxiation. There was a point at which either she took hold of him unexpectedly or trips him up or there is some other mechanism.

He said he did not believe Tiny had strangled Brandon, nor would it have wrapped itself around him for warmth - as is thought to have happened when a python killed two boys in Canada in 2013 - as it was a hot day. "I have to accept that Tiny is instrumental in Dan's death", Cooper said.

Brandon's parents, brother and sister were in court during the hearing.

"All the family wanted was answers to our questions, and I have no idea yet whether we have that or will".

A fundraising page created in Brandon's honor will contribute funds to the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

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