Elderly Slapped with $1,500 Fine for Selling Fish to Minor

Selling a goldfish to a child below 16 years old has caused a 66-year-old great-grandmother in England to be labeled a criminal. Joan Higgins has been ordered to pay $1,500, observe a seven-week curfew, and wear an electronic tag for two months, all for allowing a 14-year-old boy to buy a goldfish at her pet store.

Higgins’ son Mark was also fined $1,300 and ordered to render community service for 120 hours. Trouble for the mother and son began when the local council in Sale, Greater Manchester, ordered the boy to go to Major’s Pet Foods and buy a goldfish in what authorities called a “sting” operation. Under a 2006 law to protect animals, selling pets to children below 16 years old is illegal.

Although the Higginses admitted that they indeed sold the goldfish to the teenager, Mark believes the punishment that his mother received was overboard considering her age and offense. “What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag — she’s nearly 70, for goodness sake… You would think they have better things to do with their time and money,” he said.

(photo from flickr)