Birmingham & Black Country

Stourbridge couple guilty of monkey cruelty

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Media captionVideo footage of the monkey at the veterinary surgery was shown in court by the prosecution.

A couple who sold a "crippled" pet monkey to a woman rather than taking it to a vet have been found guilty of causing it unnecessary suffering.

A two-day trial at Dudley Magistrates' Court heard the marmoset, named Mikey, was put down by a vet after its injuries were discovered.

Magistrates who convicted Lee Powell, 50, and Julie Ann Jones, 41, described the scientific evidence against the pair as indisputable.

They will be sentenced on 12 January.

Powell and Jones, both of Sunderland Drive, Amblecote, Stourbridge, denied four charges brought by the RSPCA under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

During the trial, the couple denied knowing there was anything wrong with the four-and-a-half-month-old monkey, which they sold in June for £650 after placing an advert in a local newspaper.

Seven separate fractures

Magistrates heard Sheila Lister, 60, who bought the animal, took it to an exotic pet dealer, who alerted the RSCPA to its condition.

Vets later established the marmoset had seven separate fractures and bone disease caused by a failure to care for it properly.

Finding both defendants guilty, chairman of the bench Jane Rymer told them the prosecution's evidence had been clear and concise.

"What's clear from that evidence is that the animal suffered pain, distress and injury whilst in the care of you two defendants," she said.

"We don't accept, as you assert, that you were unaware of the distress and injury to the monkey."

Both defendants were granted unconditional bail.

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