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The Frozen Fish

German couple face jail over frozen fish for their kids

German dad Alexander Donninger and his wife Stefanie are facing jail after they were accused of poaching when they hung a deep frozen fish on their children's fishing line to give them a bit of fun while on holiday in the Austrian Tyrol.

The couple were with their twins Enya and Arthur aged seven and had purchased the rainbow trout costing two pounds a day before.

But a local who spotted the family at the river at Kufstein called police and they arrested the couple for illegal fishing.

A police spokesman said: "Regardless of whether he had a frozen fish on the line or not it is illegal to have a rod in the water without a licence."

Donninger, 42, said: "What really annoyed me was the man who reported this. He came up to me and was talking to me and he knew we were using a frozen fish, because I didn't have a licence he called police but he didn't say anything at the time otherwise it could have been speedily settled."

The dad could face up to 6 months in prison if convicted after the man that owned the river insisted that there was no way of proving whether it was a frozen fish and that the maximum penalty be applied, because otherwise everybody would use the same excuse.

Lawyer Taddaeus Schaefer, defending, said: "It is madness that such a small offence with a fish worth no more than a few euros is even coming to court. It is like we are living in the mediaeval ages again."

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