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Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK


Circus trainers fined for cruelty

Mary Cawley with husband Roger: Cruelty charges

The Chipperfield circus couple have been fined a total of £8,500 for cruelty to animals and ordered to pay costs of £12,240.

The BBC's Geeta Guru-Murthy: Trudy is now integrated into a new family
Mary Chipperfield, 61, was fined £7,500 for 12 counts of cruelty to an 18-month-old chimpanzee called Trudy.

At the orginal hearing in January secretly filmed video footage showed Chipperfield, who gave her name in court as Mary Cawley, beating the chimp with a riding crop.

Her 64-year-old husband, Roger Cawley, was fined £1,000 for cruelty to a sick elephant which he whipped around a circus ring.

[ image: Trudy: Beaten with  riding crop]
Trudy: Beaten with riding crop
The offences, which took place between October 1997 and January last year, were exposed by the pressure group Animal Defenders.

The group said it was disappointed that she had not been banned from keeping animals.

Jan Creamer, director of the group, said: "This kind of punishment doesn't fit the crime. This was a paltry fine.

"Everyone has seen the way these animals were treated. The magistrate had the power to remove their licence and he hasn't done so.

Catherine Marston: "Mary Chipperfield wants Trudy back"
"It makes a mockery of everyting that we have done. We are going to have to go back our own legal team to see what we can do about it."

Chipperfield and Cawley were sentenced at Aldershot Magistrates' Court in Hampshire.

Chimp 'tried to bite her'

Chipperfield, who had denied the charges, said chimpanzees are "tough" and would not have been harmed by any violence she inflicted on them.

She said she had beaten Trudy with a riding crop because it had tried to bite her.

Animal experts, called to court, condemned Chipperfield's treatment.

Dr Jane Goodall, an expert on chimps, told the court that Trudy was kept in an "utterly inappropriate fashion" and had lived in a climate of "fear and despair".

Trudy's fate is also set to be decided. She has been at the centre of a campaign to keep her at Monkey World in Dorset where she has been staying.

It is thought unlikely that she will be returned to Chipperfield who has agreed to abandon attempts to have her returned to her farm.

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