Hartlepool dad’s fears over venomous spider

Geoffrey Lawrence with the spider he caught
Geoffrey Lawrence with the spider he caught

A DAD is warning people to watch out after he caught what he believes to be an example of Britain’s most dangerous spider.

Geoffrey Lawrence believes the eight-legged monster he captured in his home is a false widow spider that is related to the deadly black widow.

Geoffrey, 41, spotted the creature on his kitchen ceiling on Monday night and trapped it in a jam jar.

At first he thought it was just an ordinary spider, but on closer inspection he thinks it may be a false widow.

There has been an explosion of reported sightings and attacks all over the country in the last few weeks linked to the spider.

The dad-of-two, of Wheatley Hill, said: “I thought it was just a black spider and was going to put it outside, but then I saw white markings on its back that resemble a skull.

“There are a lot of kids around here and I want to make people aware and to be careful.”

Anyone bitten by a false widow spider may experience chest pains, tingly fingers and swelling, but are unlikely to die.

Geoffrey informed nearby Wheatley Hill Primary School of his discovery.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at Durham County Council, said: “The chances of finding a false widow spider are very rare and as far as we know there are no confirmed sightings in the North-East.

“If anyone thinks they might have found one and they are concerned they can contact the council and we will offer advice.”

l Does Geoffrey have anything to worry about or can you identify this spider? Call our newsdesk on (01429) 239380.