It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


British tag grandmother for illegal goldfish sale

page: 1

log in


posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 08:13 PM
No, this isn't an April Fool's joke, this is life in the UK.

As if they haven't given us enough insane material to roll around on the floor laughing at, they continue to act as if Monty Python was actually an instructional video.

The latest lunacy......

Great-grandmother given an electronic tag and curfew for selling a goldfish to a 14 year-old

A great-grandmother has been ordered to wear an electronic tag for breaching new animal welfare laws by selling a goldfish to a 14 year-old boy.

By Laura Roberts
Published: 7:30AM BST 31 Mar 2010

Joan Higgins, a pet shop owner, was caught selling the fish to the teenager in a 'sting' operation by council officials. She was then prosecuted in an eight month court process estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £20,000.

Under new animal welfare laws, passed in 2006, it is it illegal to sell goldfish to under 16s. Offenders can be punished with up to 12 months in prison.

Mrs Higgins, 66, who thought the boy was much older than 14, escaped jail but was instead ordered to wear an electronic tag and given a night time curfew. She was also fined £1,000 by Trafford Magistrates Court.

Her son Mark Higgins, who was also proscecuted in connection with the case, described the treatment of his mother as a "farce" and "legal lunacy". He said the punishment she had received would prevent her from attending her weekly bingo sessions as well babysitting her one month-old great grandchild.

Mr Higgins, 47, from Sale, Greater Manchester said: "I think it's a farce and legal lunacy and I told the council that.

"What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag - she's nearly 70, for goodness sake."

He added: "She's a great grandma - so she won't be able to babysit a new born baby, all because of this tag. You would think they have better things to do with their time and money."

He and his mother were caught out by a new bill passed in 2006 which makes it illegal to sell goldfish to under 16s.

In July 2009, Trafford council sent a 14 year old boy to the shop and after Mrs Higgins failed to ask the boy for identification she and her son were summoned to court.

Mr Higgins labelled the incident "entrapment", saying the boy looked older than 14: "The council sent the 14 year old into us - in my book that's entrapment.

"And besides which is it hard to tell how old a lad is these days. He looked much older than 14. I go to my local pub where they sometimes have a fayre and I see youngsters walking round with goldfish that they have won by hooking a duck.

"I said that to the council and they told me that wasn't my problem."

Mr Higgins was fined £750 and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. However, because his mother was not fit enough to do the same she was issued with a ten-week 6pm to 7am curfew instead.

The pair pleaded guilty at Trafford magistrates court to selling the fish to a person under 16 and for causing unnecessary suffering to a cockatiel by failing to provide appropriate care and treatment after council officers noticed a cockatiel bird in the shop in need of veterinary care with a broken leg. It was later put down.

Trafford Council said they had decided to investigate the shop, called Major Pets, in Sale, Greater Manchester following a complaint that it had sold a gerbil to a 14 year-old girl with learning difficulties, without the presence of a carer or parent.

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.

"We have many responsible pet shops in the borough who provide adequate advice and care for animals however let this conviction send out a message that we will not tolerate those who cause unnecessary suffering to animals."

A spokesman for Trafford Council said their legal costs were met by the total fines paid by Joan and Mark Higgins of £1750.

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 08:22 PM
Yikes, that's an embarrassing article to say the least. Amazing that they actually held a sting operation to catch people selling goldfish to a 14 year old.

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.

No, what it demonstrates is that you need to review said law and make some changes because I would literally be scared to live where you preside over. Obviously, I would support this in a situation of a dog, cat, birds, things like that. I can even see maybe not selling hamsters to people under 16 but this punishment is much too harsh given the circumstances.

And the goldfish, thats like bringing Capone down on tax charges, you enforced this law with a goldfish. If you wanted people to even take it seriously, it should've been a puppy, then people would understand.

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 08:23 PM
There is also a thread here discussing this very topic ^_^

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 08:39 PM
reply to post by Retseh

Dear Retseh

This sort of thing is of no surprise at all.

In the UK the LUNTICS have been running the asylum, (by asylum I mean the whole of the UK) since about 1966. Or at least it was 1966 when I noticed it.

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 09:19 PM
reply to post by VintageEnvy

it most likely wasnt a sting, out to catch people selling goldfish, most likely and logical would be that they are looking for anyone selling animals to kids... and they just happened to buy a gold fish.

its a bit stiff, but before things like this are being done their has probably been something to cause it, esspecialy if they are wasting money on a sting in that area!

news is vital, but always very one sided, we only know the consequence of the court case, we dont know what exactly let up to the sting...!

not only that, papers like to back political partys, and what better way to discredit the current government ** than making them look like over bearing loonys who want to lock everyone up.

(** LOOL, is their a better way to discredit the current uk government more than just letting them do what they normaly do with no coercion !)

im going to try and find some more about this story,

posted on Apr, 5 2010 @ 09:25 PM
Please add any comments to the existing thread found here.

Thread closed.

new topics

top topics

log in