Pair avoid jail over goldfish swallowing video

Updated: 

Two people have been handed suspended prison sentences after footage of a goldfish being swallowed alive appeared on social media.

Daniel Challis, 24, and Cheryl Stevens, 27, were both sentenced to 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months, after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the fish at Plymouth Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates were shown the video, filmed in Paignton, Devon, in March 2016, which showed the goldfish being swallowed.

The RSPCA launched an investigation after being made aware of the footage.

Challis, of Westhill Road, Torquay, and Stevens, of Brecon Close, Paignton, were banned from keeping fish for five years.

They were both ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,085.25 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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."