Runcorn couple charged with illegally keeping dangerous animals at home (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Runcorn couple in court for keeping a crocodile in their living room
A COUPLE who kept dangerous animals illegally at their Runcorn home have been prosecuted.
David Hogg, aged 34, the owner of Reptile World in Gladstone Street, Widnes, and his partner Jayne Holme, aged 30, both of Goldcrest Close, Runcorn, admitted nine offences under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and Animal Welfare Act.
Hogg was convicted of six charges of keeping a dangerous wild animal without a licence and one offence of failing to meet the welfare needs of an animal. He was given a two year conditional discharge at Warrington Crown Court on Tuesday.
Jayne Holme received a one year conditional discharge for keeping a dangerous wild animal without a licence and failing to meet the welfare needs of an animal.
They were both ordered to pay costs.
A crocodile, a Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, was discovered being kept illegally in the dining room of their home by Halton Council officers on June 15, last year.
The animal had no UV light or a heat source and only a very small amount of water.
The court heard how Hogg had asked Leeroy Duane, of Leeroy’s Lizard Lounge in Padgate Lane, Warrington to keep various dangerous wild animals on his behalf. He was asked to look after a king cobra, three monocled cobras and a western diamondback rattlesnake at his pet shop which was appropriately licensed.
Mr Duane fully co-operated with the investigation and voluntarily surrendered the animals to Halton Council after being told that Hogg did not hold a licence.
Both defendants twice declined to be interviewed.
The Judge granted a forfeiture order on the snakes and a deprivation order in respect of the caiman.
Cllr Marie Wright, Halton Council's board member for health, said: "We take cases of animal cruelty very seriously, and it is important that these potentially dangerous animals are kept in accordance with the conditions laid down by law. Fortunately we were able to rescue these animals and remove them to places of safety."
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