This piece describes a classic nonsense prosecution.
Only last week I ate a delicious plate of sardines, suitably dressed in garlic. Those sardines were hauled from their habitat, allowed to asphyxiate in the fishing boat, then sent to a fish merchant who filleted them and sold them to a restaurant, where I enjoyed eating them.
What, pray, is the difference, between my eating those sardines, and this sad drunken boy drinking live fish? I hope never to find out whether it is worse to be gulped into someone's digestive juices, or to gasp out my life on the deck of a fishing boat.
No more cash to the RSPCA from me, then (their costs applications are always way above CPS scales)
Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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The RSPCA lost the plot some years ago. Probably inevitable given the nature of some of their principal benefactors.ReplyDelete
I understand that their CEO (or whatever the equivalent title is) is standing down. This individual has been heavily criticised by many for presiding over a PC agenda and allowing huge sums of money to be squandered on ridiculous prosecutions, some would say persecutions, which seem largely based on prejudice and pettiness. Good riddance. Lets hope the next incumbent is less fanatical and the charity can get back to using donations in a more grown up way.
He got a Conditional Discharge, but had to pay £500 costs, plus the absurd victim surcharge, which will not be much help to the fish.ReplyDelete
Were I a barrister I might have argued in defense that no fish ever had a happier demise, soaked as they were in grog.ReplyDelete
Um there is actually a fair amount of difference, no? One caused them unnecessary suffering, which is the test. And apparently from the above comment the magistrates agreed.ReplyDelete
I doubt the magistrates ever turned their minds to the question especially given his guilty plea. I'm no fisherman but a quick Google search throws up plenty of hits where people use live minnows as bait to catch larger fish - not sure that's any less cruel or any more necessary.Delete
Incidentally, I seem to recall a case a few years ago where putting kittens in a sack with a brick and then hurling them into a canal was held not to be an offence.
I have sat on a case where a man threw a sack of kittens into the Grand Union Canal, and was summonsed for polluting the canal rather than any cruelty to the kitties.Delete
What about the consumption of oysters? Off the murderous menu also Sir?ReplyDelete
I shall redirect my RSPCA donations to MIND who I suspect may well need all the support they can get if cases such as this one continue to reach the courtroom. Loons.
When I worked in Claridges kitchens many moons ago we kept live trout in a tank for a dish called 'Truite au bleu'. When an order came in one was taken from the tank, smacked against a wall to kill it, gutted and immediately dropped into a small copper fish kettle with boiling water and a little vinegar in it. The vinegar turns the slime on the skin surface a pale blue. After five minutes on a gentle heat they were served, in the kettle. We did actually have one that 'jumped out' when the waiter took the top off, due to muscle spasm no doubt. Shhhh. Don't tell the RSPCA!ReplyDelete
Farce, plain and simple which only serves to lower the esteem of the law to most right minded peopleReplyDelete
Any time now I expect the RSPCA to prosecute someone for using Warfrin rat poison on the basis that it makes the rats have a lingering death.ReplyDelete
We had an RSPCA prosecution where a cat had been taken away because it had fleas. It was semi-feral in any case, but the defendant was charged with mis-treatment. He got a conditional discharge but the RSPCA wanted about £2,000 in costs mainly for the cat's accommodation for four months in a cattery and associated vet bills. I am sure there have been many similar cases to this.ReplyDelete
Am I still allowed to boil my lobsters and mussels alive?ReplyDelete
Should Molly Malone be prosecuted?
Sadly it seems in these "silly" cases the def always takes the easy option of pleading guilty and getting off lightly. If they put up a decent defence they might well get off and hit the RSPCA for costs.
Costs, incidentally, should pertain to the costs of of the case, not the cost of housing or vetting a flea-ridden cat, which after its condition has been cured is irrelevant to the case. (Not to mention that curing the cat would be interfering with evidence.)
I eat animals. killed by the food industry. I have pets and wouldn't intentionally harm an animal. It may have been a silly prank, a dare, but he is responsible for his own actions. The RSPCA take care of animals. It's unfortunate that they have to spend so much to show how others don't.ReplyDelete
A very naught blogger on another thread suggested that anyone who engages in fellatio and swallows might be charged with infanticide . . .ReplyDelete
As for the RSPCA, they should get the same costs as the CPS ask for: £85 on a plea. And not a penny more.
Whether charities should be allowed to prosecute privately is a wider question. Whether anyone should be allowed to do so is an even wider question.