By Nick Enoch
A man is facing jail for causing unnecessary suffering to a marmoset - after he was caught taking it to the pub.
Richard Walton, 32, kept three-year-old Milo in a faeces-covered birdcage where he had little daylight and no toys to play with.
Walton, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, had already been banned from owning animals for two years for neglecting a dog which had claws so overgrown it couldn’t walk.
When he started taking Milo to his local pub on a lead, concerned drinkers informed the RSPCA.
The common marmoset was so badly malnourished and deprived of sunlight that he weighed the same as an orange when he was rescued, and was developing the bone condition rickets.
Instead of feeding him a varied diet of fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, seeds and vitamin-enriched baby food, Walton gave Milo only cherries and grapes.
Walton pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court and will be sentenced in January.
In their natural home in the Brazilian rainforest, marmosets are highly social creatures who mate for life and live in tight-knit family communities.
But Milo lived in isolation in his cage apart from when he was taken to the Portsmouth Arms in Basingstoke, where Walton would pose with his pet on his shoulder.
The RSPCA was alerted after receiving a tip-off that heavily tattooed Walton had taken him to the pub on at least two occasions. More....