Category Archives: Fish

Boscombe, Bournemouth: Ben Avill

#TheList Benjamin Samuel Avill, born 26/11/1982, of 16 Waltham Road, Bournemouth BH7 6PE – poisoned 50 tropical fish in an act of revenge against his former partner

Evil Ben Avill from Bournemouth laughed as he killed dozens of fish in an act of revenge
Evil Ben Avill laughed as he killed dozens of fish in an act of revenge

Avill went into a ‘fit of rage’ when Jenny Daniels told him their 12-year relationship was over.

He grabbed a nearby bottle of Comfort fabric conditioner and emptied it into the large tank that contained 50 fish.

The court heard how Avill “laughed” as the fish were poisoned.

All but one of them died. The sole survivor, a bristlenose pleco fish called Bob, now lives with Miss Daniels.

Miss Daniels, from Bournemouth, reported her ex to the RSPCA.

Evil Ben Avill from Bournemouth laughed as he killed dozens of fish in an act of revenge

Carpenter Avill, who has a previous conviction for drink driving, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Matthew Knight, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “In the eyes of the general public, if he had done this to 49 dogs the outcry would be significant.

“However, the act does not differentiate between protected animals.”

Mr Knight said the fish would have suffered greatly as they were poisoned

“The fish were jointly owned by the defendant and Ms Daniels,” he said.

“They were arguing and in a fit of rage he poured a three-litre bottle into the tank.

“An expert has since said they would have died an acute and unnecessary death.

“Fish can and do suffer and the defendant has shown very little remorse for his actions which caused the death of a lot of fish.”

Leah Dillon, mitigating, said: “The relationship between Miss Daniels and the defendant was volatile.

“This incident was the culmination of several years of tough times.

“He describes himself as like a bottle of champagne which his partner was shaking and waiting for the cork to pop.

“He says it was completely out of character for him and he has shown genuine remorse.”

Sentencing: 14-week prison term suspended for 12 months; costs of £400; 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Bournemouth Echo

Tiverton, Devon: Joshua Coles

#TheList Joshua Coles, born c. 1991, of Ennerleigh Farm, Washfield near Tiverton, Devon EX16 9RF – filmed swallowing a live goldfish he had just won at Bridgwater Fair

Animal abuser Joshua Coles from Washfield, Tiverton
Animal abuser Joshua Coles from Washfield, Tiverton

A 14 second long video posted on Snapchat showed Coles holding the fish in his right hand before putting into his mouth.

He then drinks half a pint of beer to swallow it before opening his mouth to show his pals that he had gulped it down.

Coles admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal during the incident which took place during September 2018.

RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer showed Exeter magistrates court the video that was made by Coles’ girlfriend who posted it on social media.

"Only a goldfish" - Coles has never shown any remorse for his actions and found it amusing that the cruel death of a helpless goldfish warranted an investigation
“Only a goldfish” – Coles has never shown any remorse for his actions and found it amusing that the cruel death of a helpless goldfish warranted an investigation

Miss Meyer said:”This case relates to the defendant swallowing a live goldfish and washing it down with half a pint of alcohol.”

His girlfriend posted the video entitled ‘he ate my fish’ and Coles told RSPCA investigators it was ‘just a stunt for social media’.

The court heard Coles was ‘amused and bemused’ by the investigation saying it was ‘only a goldfish‘.

Vet expert David Martin said the goldfish was still alive when it was swallowed and took a swig of alcohol to wash it down.

Mr Martin said goldfish can feel pain and would have died from a deprivation of oxygen.

Miss Meyer said tree surgeon Coles was egged on by two other people who laughed as he carried out the act.

She said:”He caused the death of the animal. There was never any other outcome from his actions.”

She said he had been drinking alcohol and showed no remorse and had been amused and bemused by the RSPCA inquiry and he valued the fish in a ‘trivial nature’.

A probation officer said Coles was ‘a class clown’ who showed off in front of people.

She said he was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ by what he had done.

She said:”It is a very unpleasant offence.”

Solicitor Jeremy Tricks, defending, said Coles suffers with ADHD and depression and anxiety.

He said:”He has very poor decision making skills. It was an idiotic and stupid mistake but there is no malice in him.”

He said people watch him ‘do something amusing’.

After the case RSPCA Inspector John Pollock said:”We are asked why prosecute for a goldfish but they feel pain and have a spine.

“We will deal with it whether it is a large or small creature that has suffered.

“This is the first time in my 30 year career that I have had a prosecution like this but there have been ones in the past when there was the Neknominate craze.

“The expert veterinary evidence is that the goldfish would have drowned in beer content and his stomach acids. If a goldfish was put in a glass of acid then people would be jumping up and down about it and ringing us up.

” This goldfish would have suffered a great deal. It would have dissolved alive in the stomach acids.

“This goldfish was a prize at a fair. We are very much against live animal prizes and some councils have outlawed them.

“At the end of this fair we got lots of calls about being goldfish being dumped on the ground. They get easily stressed, even with the acoustics of being thrown about in a plastic bag that they come in.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and five rehab days. Costs and charges totalling £385. Five-year ban on owning fish.

BBC News

Witney, Oxfordshire: Serena Reynoldson

#TheList Serena Ferguson, born 27/03/1983, of 5 Sealham Road, Witney OX29 7XU – filmed herself pouring thick bleach into her partner’s tropical fish tank and goaded him as the fish died


Serena Reynoldson killed the tropical fish to get back at her boyfriend
Serena Reynoldson killed the tropical fish to get back at her boyfriend

Mother-of-five Reynoldson was furious that boyfriend Jonathan Fitzpatrick had left her to deal with their children and family pets after an alleged affair.

She filmed herself pouring the poisonous substance into a tank belonging to Mr Fitzpatrick on 9 January 2018 and sent him the video as a WhatsApp message.

In the video Reynoldson can be seen holding an open bottle labelled thick bleach.

She says: “Seeing as it’s okay for you to have your hobbies but I can’t have mine, bleach right in there.”

She then pours the bleach into the tank, saying “eat it, drink it, good” as the fish swim towards the chemical adding: “die, die, die.”

Reynoldson continued: “If I can’t have no hobbies or a life you can’t have them and I’m not paying for it.”

She proceeds to taunt her ex-boyfriend as the fish start to float to the surface of the water calling him ‘selfish’ as she continues to add bleach from a second bottle.

Mr Fitzpatrick called police after the incident and the RSPCA were called in.

Reynoldson admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals.

Tropical fish killer Serena Reynoldson from Witney
Twisted Serena Reynoldson, who has five children under the age of 10.

Investigating RSPCA inspector Andy Eddy said: “It’s shocking that the fish were killed during this deliberate vengeful intentional act.

“These fish would have suffered needlessly because of the levels of chlorine and ammonia being poured in the water by Serena Reynoldson.

“There is never an excuse for such heartless and unpleasant behaviour, or for showing such a lack of empathy towards any animal by behaving in this way.”

18-week suspended prison sentence; £415 in court costs; banned from keeping fish for life.

Oxford Mail
Daily Mail
BBC News

Torquay, Devon: Daniel Challis and Cheryl Stevens

#TheList Daniel Challis, born c. 1992, of Westhill Road, Torquay, and Cheryl Stevens, born c. 1989, of Brecon Close, Paignton – handed suspended prison sentences after a goldfish was swallowed for a drinking challenge

Daniel Challis from Torquay swallowed a live goldfish in a drinking challenge while his friend Cheryl Stevens filmed him
Daniel Challis from Torquay swallowed a live goldfish in a drinking challenge while his friend Cheryl Stevens filmed him

Timber merchant Daniel Challis was convicted of animal cruelty after gulping down the fish as a “neknominate” stunt.

Challis’ friend Cheryl Stevens filmed the stunt and posted a clip on Facebook, which was spotted by the RSPCA.

The pair were both charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and failing in their duty of care.

The neknominate drinking craze, which was popular on social media in 2014, involves posting a video of someone downing drinks in an extreme manner and then nominating others to do the same.

Challis and Stevens both denied the charges, insisting they believed the fish was dead.

But Kevin Withey, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the video showed it was “crystal clear” the fish was alive, describing the incident as a “bravado exercise”.

He told the court: “You can see the fish moving in the pint glass and you can see it moving in the accused’s hand.

“His hand is rock steady and the fish is moving.”

They were found guilty of cruelty but cleared of the further charge of failing in their duty to protect the fish.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Jo Pearson said: “The goldfish was clearly alive in the footage and would have suffered an unpleasant death.

“Hopefully the outcome of this case demonstrates to people who think that such stunts might be funny that they’re actually acts of cruelty, and the courts clearly take a dim view of them.”

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months; 200 hours of unpaid work; £1,085.25 in costs plus £115 victim surcharge. The pair were banned from keeping fish for five years.

ITV News
Daily Gazette

Milnsbridge, Huddersfield: Steven James Allen

#TheList Steven James Allen, born 1979, of Tintern Avenue, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield HD3 4PX –  attacked wheelchair-bound partner and killed her ten pet fish

Photograph of violent drunk Steven James Allen from Huddersfield.

Allen, described as a carer for Tina Butler, pleaded guilty to assault and criminal damage.

He also admitted to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after smashing a tank containing ten fish.

Shamaila Qureshi, prosecuting, described Miss Butler as vulnerable as she is wheelchair bound with mobility and balance issues.

Allen suddenly became aggressive towards her and accused her of having an affair.

Mrs Qureshi said: “He’s pushed her out of her wheelchair, causing her to fall out and bang her head.

“He has then kicked the fish tank, causing it to smash. There were 10 fish in there and they came out the fish tank and died.

“He’s dragged the complainant across the room by her arms, causing her pyjama bottoms to come down.

“The defendant has then slapped her buttocks hard and slapped her face.”

Allen then took Miss Butler’s phone and threw it against the wall, causing it to smash.

He suddenly changed, becoming nice to her and helping her back into her wheelchair.

Allen said he couldn’t recall the incident due to his drinking.

Magistrates were told that he was dependant on alcohol and would consume four litres of cider daily.

Prior to the attack he had drunk vodka instead which he claimed affected him.

He claimed his last memory was watching football before waking up the following morning and being told by Miss Butler what he had done.

Sentencing: 22-week jail term, suspended for 15 months. Alcohol treatment. £85 court costs and £250 compensation to Miss Butler. Two-year restraining order.


Darlington, County Durham: Pearl Barker

#TheList Pearl Barker of Ardmore Drive, Darlington DL1 3QB – neglected a German Shepherd dog, breached disqualification order twice

Pearl Barker and the German Shepherd dog she allowed to become thin and flea-ridden.
Negligent Pearl Barker and the German Shepherd dog she allowed to become thin and flea-ridden.

Barker had a cat and dog removed from her property in 2008 after an RSPCA vet found her German Shepherd had been neglected.

The dog weighed around 10kg less than the normal weight for his breed and he was found to have a severe flea problem which had not been treated.

Convicted animal abuser Pearl Barker from Darlington, UK

The RSPCA issued a disqualification order to stop Barker from keeping any animals from 2008 until November 2018.

But two inspections at Barker’s flat in 2012 and 2015 found she had rabbits, cats and goldfish in her property.

Her original ten-year ban was extended by one year, but in 2016 Barker appealed to have her disqualification overturned.  She told the court she missed the company of animals and hoped magistrates could see she had turned her life around.

But the RSPCA recommended that the ban should remain in place while Barker continues to adjust aspects of her life.

Prosecutor Kevin Campbell said: “This application is premature.

“The law is here to protect the animals and this case is not about her, it’s about the animals – we’re looking out for them.”

Chairman of the bench, Ruth Dent, said: “We’ve judged your application very carefully and while we realise you’ve made changes we feel this application is premature.”

Barker was told she must serve the rest of the ban until at least November 2017 before she can apply to own animals again.

Northern Echo

Kingston upon Hull: Andrew Gill

#TheList repeat offender Andrew Gill, born c. 1964, of 34 Downing Grove, Hull HU9 3SY –  left his four dogs without access to food, water or bedding; breached disqualification order.

Photo of serial animal abuser Andrew Gill from Hull
Andrew Gill celebrates winning The World’s Biggest Knob competition.

Gill was banned, alongside former partner Suzanna Falconer, from keeping animals in 2012 for causing unnecessary suffering to 13 rats, which died of starvation, failing to meet the welfare needs of three ferrets and a rabbit and causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog.

RSPCA inspector Hannah Bryer said: “Throughout the duration of the previous proceedings, Mr Gill was given advice, assistance and warning notices to improve the welfare of his remaining animals.

“After he was banned, he failed to follow the court order and continued keeping animals.

“Mr Gill has proved he is unable to care for animals properly, even when given extensive guidance.

“He has shown a complete disregard for the court order and to the wellbeing of his pets.”

Andy Gill photo

RSPCA inspectors and police raided Gill’s home in September 2012. When they entered the property, he said: “You’re not taking my pets, you are not touching the snake or the fish, no way.”

Inside, they found 20 fish, a corn snake, two Staffordshire bull terriers called Zane and Patch, two terriers called Dufus and Meg, two cats and six kittens.

Miss Bryer said Dufus and Meg were confined to the kitchen and had been eating out of the bin. Zane and Patch were in the garden, which was littered with rubbish including broken glass jars, rusty metal tins and exposed metal chair springs.

Gill admitted breaching his disqualification order and failing to meet the welfare needs of the dogs.

In 2007, Gill spoke of of his devastation after an arson attack on his shed killed his 300 rats, two rabbits, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and three hedgehogs.

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, 200 hours of unpaid work, £250 costs.  Banned from keeping animals for 20 years (expires April 2033).

Source article (Hull Daily Mail) removed.