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Gotcha! I’ve caught the spider from hell
CAUGHT: T-Jay Sharples shows the captured spider in his lunch box. Photograph taken by Paul Jackson. BUY THIS PHOTO: worcesternews.co.uk/pictures/sales. 4413443301
A VENOMOUS spider proved no match for a courageous schoolboy on Halloween after he helped trap the animal in his lunchbox.
The false widow spider has been sending shudders down spines up and down the land, including here in Worcester, but one lad found the experience of coming face-to-face with the beast ‘fangtastic’.
Britain’s most venomous spider met his match in seven-year-old T-Jay Sharples, of Shelsley Walsh, near Worcester, who brought the creature to the Worcester News office, quickly emptying our reception.
His father, Wayne Sharples, recognised the spider, complete with sinister, skull-shaped markings on its back, from pictures he had seen in the papers, spotting it easily against the white of his cottage wall.
Mr Sharples said: “I scooped it up and put it in one of his packed lunch tubs. I thought, ‘I don’t want that in the kitchen’. My son was more intrigued than scared. He did say, ‘be careful dad’.
“I recognised the skull markings on its back.”
Mr Sharples said his son hoped the find might earn him some house points at Great Witley CE Primary School.
T-Jay stood calmly just inches from the spider as he let it out of the box for our photographer to have a closer look.
We have already reported how 24-year-old Matt Stone of Margaret Road, St John’s, Worcester, feared he was bitten by a false widow while he slept, causing his hand to swell up.
His mum feared he could have died.
A spokesman for the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust said: “All spiders can bite and most inject venom into their prey.
“It’s only the females that bite but they generally keep themselves to themselves and are nothing to worry about. The risk of being bitten is really quite small.
"Obviously some people can have bad reactions to a bite – it’s no different to the differing ways people react to wasp or bee stings in that respect.
“Of the 600-plus species of spider in the UK, about 12 are able to penetrate human skin and most won’t bite unless they’re provoked.”