By Vicky Smith
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.
He 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 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, of Basingstoke, Hants., pleaded guilty to two charges 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.
After he was rescued, Milo was taken to Monkey World animal sanctuary in Wareham, Dorset, where he has now returned to full health.
Director Dr Alison Cronin said: “In the wild, they come from Brazil and live in extended family groups.
“They are a species of marmoset that mate for life, and almost always have twins, and the male is very important to the family group, because they help care for the infants. More....