A MAN swallowed a goldfish in a fast food restaurant while a friend filmed the prank as part of internet drinking dare game Neknominate, a court heard.
Robert Atkinson, 20, was filmed in a McDonald’s at Wakefield as he placed the fish in a glass of beer before downing the drink and laughing, saying: “I’m an animal.”
Lewis Summers, 19, shot footage of Atkinson buying the fish in a Pets at Home store
On the video, which was played at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court, Atkinson tells pet store staff: “I’m going to call him Demitri. I want a nice big one, we are going to eat it.”
The film, then cuts to Atkinson sitting in McDonald’s on Ings Road, Wakefield, where he puts the fish in a glass of beer and swallows it.
Atkinson laughs and says to diners: “Thanks for the Neknomination, this is a goldfish in beer. That’s fish and chips boys. I’ve got a goldfish inside me, I’m an animal.”
The court heard the pair shared the film with friends on Facebook.
Prosecutor, Andrew Davidson for the RSPCA, said the incident was reported by a concerned member of the public who saw the video on Facebook. Mr Davidson said: “The video speaks for itself.”
Atkinson of Buttermere Croft, Walton, Wakefield, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. Summers, of Wrangbrook Road, Upton, admitted aiding and abetting the causing of unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
John Wilkinson, mitigating for both men, said: “Neither defendant realised it was a criminal offence.”
Deputy district judge Richard Clews sentenced Atkinson and Summers to 12-month community orders plus 40 hours unpaid work each.
The pair must each pay £723 court costs.
RSPCA Inspector Gemma Fowler, lead officer in the case, said: “This was a horrible thing to do to a living animal.
“We are pleased the courts felt the same way. Hopefully this will act as a deterrent in the future to prevent this from happening again.”