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Man who swallowed a goldfish for drinking challenge told he could go to prison

Timber merchant Daniel Challis gulped down the fish Credit: RSPCA

A man who was filmed swallowing a goldfish for a drinking challenge is facing jail.

Timber merchant Daniel Challis, 24, has been convicted of animal cruelty after gulping down the fish as a "neknominate" stunt.

Challis' friend Cheryl Stevens filmed the stunt and posted a clip on Facebook, which was spotted by the RSPCA.

The pair were both charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and failing in their duty of care.

The neknominate drinking craze, which was popular on social media in 2014, involves posting a video of someone downing drinks in an extreme manner and then nominating others to do the same.

It was heavily criticised after the deaths of two young men.

Challis after he swallowed the fish Credit: RSPCA

They both denied the charges, insisting they believed the fish was dead.

But Kevin Withey, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the video showed it was "crystal clear" the fish was alive, describing the incident as a "bravado exercise".

He told Torquay Magistrates' Court in Devon: "You can see the fish moving in the pint glass and you can see it moving in the accused's hand.

"His hand is rock steady and the fish is moving."

They were found guilty of cruelty but cleared of the further charge of failing in their duty to protect the fish.

They were warned they could be jailed when they are sentenced at Plymouth Magistrates' Court on February 3.

Another man who swallowed a live goldfish for the drinking craze was fined £300.