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Friday, December 2, 2011

Trial date set for Anne the circus elephant's ex-owners


Court appearance: Anne's the elephants former owners Bobby and Moira Roberts are facing charges of animal cruelty over their treatment of the animal

By Katherine Faulkner

from: The London Daily mail co.uk

2nd December 2011

Soberly dressed and speaking only to their solicitor, the pair arrived at Corby Magistrates’ Court before the hearing, but were not required to be in the courtroom. During the brief hearing, their solicitor John Whiston indicated they would deny the charges. The couple, from Oundle, Northamptonshire, will now face a trial on June 18 next year.Prosecution barrister Helen Law said the case ‘rests heavily’ on the video of Anne being beaten, which was exposed by the Mail. The footage was obtained by campaign group Animal Defenders International. Jan Creamer of ADI said yesterday: ‘It is the first prosecution of a circus under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 so it really is a landmark case.’
She added that Anne was going from ‘strength to strength’ at her new home in Longleat Safari Park, where a sanctuary is being built for her thanks to £400,000 raised by Daily Mail readers.


Fit and healthy: Anne now has a home at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire following a Daily Mail campaign to have her releasedAnimal campaigners say the trial of her former owners will be a landmark case which will test the strength of new animal cruelty laws brought in in 2006.

Prosecution Barrister Helen Law said the case ‘rests heavily’ on the shocking video footage of Anne being beaten, which was first revealed by the Daily Mail.The video shows Anne flinch as she is repeatedly whacked with a pitchfork by Nicolai Nitu, a Romanian groom employed by Mr and Mrs Roberts to care for Anne.The groom, who is in his late 20s, is thought to have fled to his native Romania when the Daily Mail broke the story.Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068766/Owners-circus-elephant-Anne-face-trial-accused-causing-unnecessary-suffering.html#ixzz1fNLppS7g

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