Birmingham & Black Country

Monkey cruelty pair Lee Powell and Julie Ann Jones in pet ban

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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 monkey as a pet instead of taking it to a vet for treatment have been permanently banned from keeping animals.

Lee Powell, 50, and Julie Ann Jones, 41, from Stourbridge, West Midlands, were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a four-month-old marmoset.

The monkey, named Mikey, was sold for £650 but his injuries were found to be so severe he later had to be put down.

Dudley Magistrates' Court ordered the pair to pay costs of £2,700 each.

Vets said the baby marmoset had bone disease and fractures as a result of the couple's failure to care for it properly.

'Commando-crawl'

Powell and Jones previously denied being aware of any problems with the animal which they sold to a woman in the car park of a fish and chip shop in June.

The buyer, Sheila Lister, took the monkey to an exotic pet dealer who alerted the RSPCA to its poor condition.

Image caption Julie Ann Jones and Lee Powell were permanently banned from keeping animals

The couple were told on Thursday they must serve a 12-month community order and complete 300 hours of unpaid work.

They must also hand over any other monkeys in their care and pay the RSPCA £2,713.50 in costs and compensation to Ms Lister of £325 each.

Pet shop owner Jimmy Wick said as soon as he had seen Mikey he knew something was seriously wrong.

He said: "For a young monkey to have so many broken bones at different rates of healing means it's just not one thing that's happened to him - it was just awful to see.

"He couldn't walk properly, he would commando-crawl."

'It was crying'

Mr Wick said when he had tried to introduce the marmoset to an adult female that had babies of her own, Mikey had been unable to cling on to her because of his many injuries.

He said: "It was crying its eyes out because it wanted to get to her.

"It broke my heart to see it."

RSPCA inspector Jackie Hickman said when she had looked into Mikey's eyes she thought she could read his emotions but had felt powerless to save him.

She said: "I'm pleased the court's viewed this seriously.

"It's a situation where these animals shouldn't really be kept as pets, but it's commonly happening."

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