An abused monkey who was flushed down the toilet and fed cocaine in a terror campaign by her drug-dealer owner, is now living happily at a sanctuary – and even has a boyfriend marmoset.
Vicky Holland, 38, made 22 videos of her mistreating the tame marmoset she fed on burgers, kebabs and sausages.
She was banned from keeping all animals for life and given a 12-week jail term, suspended for 12 months.
The monkey, named Milly, was signed into the care of the RSPCA, before being transferred to specialist primate experts at Monkey World in Dorset for ongoing and appropriate care.
And now MailOnline can reveal after almost two years at the sanctuary, Milly is finally ‘happy and content’.
Following the unbelievable cruelty Milly experienced at the hands of Holland, she was reluctant to trust staff at Monkey World.
In what Monkey World have described as one of the worst cases the rescue centre has seen in more than 30 years, Milly arrived at the park in January 2020.
She initially hid at the back of her enclosure and alarm called whenever a member of staff passed by.
However, staff paired Milly with another common marmoset rescued from the pet trade called Moon.
With Moon by her side and the correct specialist housing, Milly has gained confidence and is now enjoying her new home.
Milly (pictured) the abused monkey, who was flushed down the toilet and fed cocaine in a terror campaign by her cruel drug-dealer owner, is now living happily at a sanctuary – and even has a boyfriend marmoset
A mother-of-four was caught on camera offering cocaine to her pet monkey (above) and then trying to flush it down the toilet
Vicki Holland, 38, kept a pet Marmoset, native to tropical forests in Central and South America, in her semi-detached home in Newport, Gwent
Dr Alison Cronin, director of Monkey World, said: ‘Milly’s case was tragic and heart breaking. She spent her life living in fear and was subjected to abuse and cruelty that is the worst that I have seen in more than 30 years of rescuing primates.
‘Milly will never fully recover from her abuse and will be psychologically damaged for the rest of her life but the key to saving Milly was companionship of her own kind.
‘With Moon at her side, she has been able to relax and enjoy her life, finally.’
Steph Sawyer, team leader of small monkeys, added: ‘Rehabilitating Milly has been a long process. I have never seen such a terrified marmoset.
‘Milly cringed away and hid from every person she encountered, any loud noise or sudden movement would sent her into a screaming alarm call and looking for somewhere to hide.
‘She wouldn’t move or eat in front of us to begin with; only freeze and hide. Even now that she is settled and happy with a male, the sight of new people can still cause her to panic.
‘The mental scarring from her abuse will always be with her.’
In what Monkey World have described as one of the worst cases the rescue centre has seen in more than 30 years of rescuing primates, Milly (above) arrived at the park in January 2020
A court heard the primate was ‘terrified’ of Holland and that she was aggressive towards the pet. Pictured: Vicki Holland
A court was shown a video of the animal cowering in a toilet bowl and Holland goading it by saying she was going to flush it.
The RSPCA only became aware of the animal’s misery when police raided Holland’s home in Newport in a drugs bust.
They seized her mobile phone and saw ‘very disturbing’ videos of Holland mistreating the animal including one where she offers it cocaine.
In a video, Holland can be heard saying to the marmoset: ‘Want some coke? Lick my fingers’.
Holland was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years in November last year over the cocaine haul and appeared in court in May where she was ordered to pay more than £4,000.
The monkey’s treatment was shown to the RSPCA after videos were found on Holland’s phone by Gwent Police following a drugs bust at her home.
One clip showed Holland laughing as she tried to flush the animal down the toilet as it clung to the rim.
She can be heard swearing at the monkey and telling it to get out of the toilet.
Holland threw toilet paper at her pet and called it an ‘idiot’, before flushing.
Another showed her offering cocaine and saying ‘Want some cocaine? Lick my fingers,’ while the monkey cowered in the corner of a storage unit.
Holland informed the RSPCA that she had sold the marmoset a week earlier, but it was later found at another address.
The court heard the animal was ‘terrified as a result of her aggression and abuse whilst it was within a toilet bowl’.
Prosecutor Aled Watkins said of the toilet video: ‘In another video the marmoset is in a very distressed state cowering inside a toilet bowl.
‘Holland could be heard on the video saying “I need the toilet” and “shall I flush it?”
The toilet was flushed, and Holland called the animal a ‘f***ing tw*t’ and warned it ‘”don’t attack me”.
Magistrates at Newport, South Wales, heard Holland failed to provide a suitable environment and diet for the South American species.
Mr Watkins said: ‘Holland has shown total disregard to the basic care and needs of her pet.
‘Another video showed Holland’s pet dog in close proximity to the monkey.
‘There is evidence of the dog chasing the marmoset, which had free rein of the house in a dangerous environment around knives and electrical outlets.’
Holland must also pay £420 in costs and a £128 victim surcharge.
The court heard the animal was ‘terrified as a result of her aggression and abuse whilst it was within a toilet bowl’
She provided an inadequate environment and an inappropriate diet for the animal’s needs
Holland (above) was banned from keeping all animals for life after pleading guilty to three Animal Welfare Act 2006 offences at Newport Magistrates’ Court today
Are marmosets legal to own in the UK?
It is technically legal to own a marmoset in the UK, but the RSPCA are campaigning against primates as pets and for the governments of England and Wales to change this.
Animal rights charities, including the RSPCA, have campaigned to make primate ownership illegal in the UK.
RSPCA senior scientific manager Dr Ros Clubb added: ‘Sadly our inspectors see monkeys cooped up in bird cages, fed fast food and sugary drinks, deprived of friends of their own kind and suffering from disease as a result of poor care.
‘We fear many are suffering behind closed doors because people do not know how to look after these animals properly.’
RSPCA inspector and exotics officer Sophie Daniels said: ‘I was immediately and gravely concerned about the welfare of this marmoset when I saw these disturbing videos.
‘Videos from the defendant’s phone showed Holland offering the marmoset cocaine, while another showed the clearly terrified marmoset down a toilet bowl.
‘Holland was shouting, swearing, laughing and at one point in the clip, the toilet is flushed, showing the petrified animal struggling to cling onto the side of the bowl.
‘An independent vet soon confirmed that the marmoset was suffering unnecessarily as a result of the way she had been treated.
‘We’d like to thank Gwent Police for their assistance in this case, along with Monkey World who have provided a forever home for the marmoset.
‘Thankfully, this monkey is now getting the care they deserve after such shocking mistreatment.’
The RSPCA say marmosets are by far the most common primates being kept as pets.
However, the RSPCA is ‘totally opposed’ to the keeping of any primate as a pet because it is so hard to meet their complex needs in a domestic environment.
Holland had been with her partner Russell Cox when officers burst through the front door in Newport, south Wales. Police found drug paraphernalia and Kinder Eggs containing £1,600 worth of cocaine.
Holland and her partner Russell Cox (left), 43, both admitted possession with intent to supply a class-A drug at Newport Crown Court
Holland and Cox, 43, both admitted possession with intent to supply a class-A drug at Newport Crown Court.
Cox, from Cwmbran, south Wales was jailed for 30 months and Holland was jailed for 20 months, suspended for two years in November last year.
A Proceeds of Crime hearing was told the couple made almost £40,000 from their cocaine business. Cox made £31,904.46 from drug dealing but was left with just £180 which can be seized in available assets.
Holland appeared in court in May this year where she was ordered to pay more than £4,000 back within three months or face three months in prison.
What is a Marmoset, and why are they kept as pets?
The RSPCA is ‘totally opposed’ to the keeping of any primate as a pet because it is so hard to meet their complex needs in a domestic environment (stock image)
Marmoset monkeys are the most commonly kept and traded species of primate as pets.
Baby marmosets, being so small, have been mis-sold as a pygmy marmoset or finger monkeys.
They are being taken from their mothers far too early by breeders who convince buyers they can be tamed.
These animals are destined for many problems later on in their lives.
Where do marmosets come from?
Marmosets are primarily found in the tropical rainforests of South America, with a few residual populations in Central America.
What do marmosets eat?
Marmosets mainly eat sap and gum from trees but they also eat the leaves, fruit, seeds and flowers.
They may also eat insects, snails, lizards, frogs and baby birds.
Are marmosets good pets?
The lifespan of a marmoset can be up to 18 years. They are wild animals that have very specific welfare needs.
It is impossible to provide an environment as complex and rich as the wild for a marmoset kept as a pet.
They are tropical animals who require a warm climate.
Marmosets scent-mark their surroundings, so are unsuitable to be kept in a home.
They are highly intelligent creatures who get easily bored, which can cause intense stress.
In the wild, they create stable social groups, so to keep them alone is cruel and unnatural.
For these reasons, and more, the RSPCA don’t consider marmoset monkeys to be suitable as pets.