Plymouth court orders arrest of monkeys-neglect man
A COURT has ordered the arrest of a man who allowed his two pet monkeys to run around his flat in their own mess and his cigarette butts.
Peter Powell, aged 53, was found guilty of 10 charges of neglect and cruelty towards his two pet marmosets after he failed to attend his trial at Plymouth Magistrates' Court.
The bench ordered a warrant for his arrest not backed with bail so that he can be brought before the court and sentenced.
Powell had left court suddenly on a mobility scooter during a previous hearing after admitting some offences. He later changed his pleas to not guilty but failed to attend for his trial.
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Powell, of Teats Hill flats, Coxside, was found guilty of six offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the marmosets between April and October last year. He was also convicted of failing to protect Rattler and Tya from pain, suffering injury and disease between the same dates.
Magistrates found he had not provided a suitable environment and diet for the monkeys.
The court was told Powell allowed the marmosets to run free at his home. Primate expert Dr Alison Cronin said they were allowed to defecate and urinate where they liked and were exposed to his cigarette butts. One monkey even ate part of a plastic pot plant.
She said the fur of both marmosets had been sticky with urine. Dr Cronin said she was concerned because Powell was a heavy smoker and the marmosets had access to 'hundreds of cigarette butts'.
She added one had been taken to a vet after eating part of a plastic pot plant – but the fake foliage had not been removed. Dr Cronin said she could not find any suitable food for the marmosets in the flat.
The court heard that since the monkeys had been seized they had put on weight and neither was expected to suffer permanent harm.
John Wyatt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the charity would be asking for Powell to be banned from keeping primates.