Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pet shop owner fined £1,000 and told to wear an electronic tag... for selling a GOLDFISH to a boy aged 14

Her offence was to unwittingly sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in a trading standards 'sting'.

At most, pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, expected a slap on the wrist for breaking new animal welfare laws which ban the sale of pets to under-16s.

Instead, the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew - and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months.

The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders.

The prosecution of Mrs Higgins and her son Mark is estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,000 and has left her with a criminal record.

Mark, 47, was also fined and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Last night, as an MP criticised the magistrates, Mrs Higgins - who has run the pet shop for 28 years - said the family's eight-month ordeal had left them traumatised.

She added: 'It's ridiculous. I mean, what danger am I that I have to wear an electronic tag? These last few months have been a very stressful time.'

The seven-week curfew imposed by the court means she is unable to babysit her great-grandson at his home or go to bingo sessions with her sister, and will be unable to attend a Rod Stewart concert after tickets were bought for her by her nephew, actor Will Mellor.

Her son said: 'I think it's a farce. What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag - she's nearly 70, for goodness' sake.

'She's a great-grandma so she won't be able to babysit a newborn baby. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money.'

Mr Higgins claimed the undercover operation was a clear case of entrapment - when a person is encouraged by someone in some official capacity to commit a crime - and said the case should never have gone to court.

He said: 'The council sent the 14-year-old in to us. It is hard to tell how old a lad is these days. He looked much older than 14.'
David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth, said: 'You simply couldn't make it up. It is absolutely ludicrous that old ladies should be hounded through the courts and electronically tagged for something like this.

'At a time when courts are being told not to lock up career burglars we have them issuing severe punishments like this on little old ladies.' Mr Davies, who has served as a special constable for three years, said: 'Not only is it traumatic for her but it is a complete waste of time and taxpayers' money. It is ridiculous.

'Instead of getting 14-year-old boys to act in this type of sting they should have them trying to nail people who sell drugs outside our schools.'
Defending the goldfish case, Iain Veitch, head of public protection at Trafford Council, said: 'The evidence presented for this conviction clearly demonstrates that it is irresponsible to sell animals to those who are not old enough to look after them.

'Let this conviction send out a message that we will not tolerate those who cause unnecessary suffering to animals. The council will always try to support pet and business owners so that they are able to care for their animals properly, but where they continually ignore the advice they are given, we will not hesitate to use our statutory powers.'

The goldfish was later adopted by an animal welfare officer and is in good health.

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Thank God they are keeping beasts like this off of the street. What a menace to society.

The Mail provided a graphic to show some other cases that have been given similar sentences.

Finally, keep in mind the lengths the UK is going to appease Muslims right now.

I have always loved the UK. It is at the top of my list of places I would like to visit. It is sad though to see what is happening to the country. It's even sadder to think we are right behind them on a lot of this.


Always On Watch said...

the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew - and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months.

The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders.

A society without justice is an unjust society!

Has the world gone completely mad these days? I have to wonder.

Anonymous said...

I don't know this woman, of course, but I can tell you I've never trusted great-grandmothers. I think they should all be shot. Doing so would reduce crime in Britain by 99.9%.

Thank you for alerting us to this danger to civilized society.

Semper Fi

Z said...

Chuck, not surprisingly, AGAIN, we agree on the UK, too....I have been lucky enough to go a few times and, the first time I went as a young woman I literally felt like kissing the ground...not in some weird thing, but just in feeling like I'd 'come home'...I love the literature, the countryside, the would love it and I wish that trip for you and Mrs. Chuck.
having said that....

they should do any of that to ANYBODY let alone an older woman! FOR SELLING A FISH!?

What, are they part of that California Central Valley nightmare where 40,000 people are losing jobs and homes so ONE STUPID FISH which flourishes elsewhere won't become EXTINCT?
Maybe it was the same type of fish? :-)

Katie said...

The UK is going to hell.

They care so much about one fish, but how many babies are aborted every day in the UK?

kevin said...

It's not widly reported here in the US, but old ladies are a serious problem in the UK.

Chuck said...

AOW, near complete

Mustang, just one of PS obligations. I'm here to serve

Z, we will get there. I'm thinking it was a goldfish. You know, a carp.

Katie, that's the left. Save the whales but kill the babies. It is horrendous

Kevin, thanks for the warning. We will watch for this if we go.

Gotta love Monty Python

MK said...

If you want to visit the UK, i suggest you do it soon, the place is turning into a worse toilet by the day.

The left out here have seen how much damage they can do from the ones in the UK and they're doing the same to us.

Chuck said...

MK, I find it sad to see this happen

DaBlade said...

PC progressivism run amok. I'm afraid that when we look at them, it's like looking at ourselves just around the corner.

Karen Howes said...

That country is beyond parody. It really needs to be nuked.

Chuck said...

DaBlade, coming to a country near you soon

Karen, the UK is an interesting country in which their people are great and the government is crap. Oh, sort of like the US currently.