A MAN who swallowed a live goldfish has been ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work and banned from keeping fish for five years.

A court watched a video of Luke Berry, 26, trying twice to swallow the fish while taking gulps from a can of lager.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard how the RSPCA launched an investigation after being alerted to a clip entitled “Hey fishy, fishy” posted on Facebook.

The video – filmed on August 16, 2014 – showed Berry attempting to swallow the fish with encouragement from friends. He spat it out once and it fell onto the floor still moving.

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Berry then tried to swallow it a second time with a can of beer to try to wash it down, but choked it up again and it was still.

He was cautioned and interviewed in September and admitted the offence on January 19.

Alice Dodd, defending, said: “My client is deeply ashamed at what happened.

“He was extremely intoxicated at the time of the offence.

He was egged on by what you could say were negative influences.”

She said Berry had been horrified at the public expense his actions have caused.

Miss Dodd said: “He feels embarrassed by that. He had no idea of the public cost and the consequences of his actions at the time.”

Sentencing Berry, chairman of the bench Iain McCoubrey said: “It was a particularly disgusting thing to do. In particular, filming it and posting it on Facebook was not civilised.”

Berry, of Taylor Close, Faringdon, was given a 12 month community order including 120 hours of unpaid work for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, banned from keeping fish for five years and ordered to pay £500 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Speaking outside the court, RSPCA inspector Andy Eddy said: “Eating a live animal and posting a video online is not some light-hearted joke – it is unacceptable.”