Man banned from owning fish after swallowing goldfish at funfair

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Devon tree-surgeon has been banned from owning fish after swallowing a goldfish he had won at a funfair.

Josh Coles, 27, was filmed washing the live fish down with half a pint of lager before opening his mouth to prove he had swallowed it.

He received a 12-month community order and has been banned from keeping a fish for five years.

RSPCA inspector John Pollock said: “The vet report highlighted how the goldfish would have slowly died due to acidic juices in his digestive tract.

“While it may have seemed funny at the time, it is not a nice end for any animal.”

The court heard that Coles, who suffers from ADHD, struggles with “decision making”.

Jeremy Tricks, representing Coles, said he accepted “he did something which is very stupid” but argued the case was not the most serious.

He added: “I’m not saying it’s only a fish, I’m a big fish fan myself.”

Coles was reported to the RPSCA after his girlfriend posted a video of the incident, which took place at Bridgewater Carnival last year, on Snapchat.

He will have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work, and attend up to five rehabilitation activity days to consider “decision-making and alcohol consumption”.

He must also pay a £85 victim surcharge and £300 court costs.