A snake appeared in a New Malden mum’s kitchen cupboard, giving her a nasty surprise.

Charmaine Whitcombe was startled by her uninvited reptilian houseguest on April 9 while sorting through the cupboard.

She said: “I saw something shiny move, and froze when I realised it was a snake. I had put a lot of stuff over it and possibly touched it.

“I slammed the door shut and grabbed my young children – a one-year-old girl and a three-year-old boy – and ran down to my neighbour’s for help.

“I’ve never shaken so much. I expect to find a mouse or spider or something – not a snake.”

A neighbour came, got the snake out safely, and took it to New Malden Vets.

It belonged to a different neighbour who lives above Ms Whitcombe’s home in Malden Way, and it was soon reunited with him.

Ms Whitcombe said: “I’m assuming it was a corn snake, as it seemed used to being handled, but that doesn’t make it an okay thing for me to find in my cupboard.

“The only way it could have gone in is through any gaps behind the boiler. My landlord has said he will be getting it all filled in, so I’m hoping the snake’s owner has already done it his side.

“I don’t know how long it had been missing for or how long it had been in there. I’m glad it was me who saw it and not my son, who would’ve probably tried grabbing it.”

Corn snakes are non-venomous, but can bite if under stress or if they smell food.