A couple who admitted stealing a tortoise from Blackberry Farm Park at Whitesmith near Uckfield have been fined after appearing before Brighton magistrates.
Morgan Paine, 29, and Sasha Harris, 29 both unemployed and from Bentswood Road, Haywards Heath, were each fined £80, had £195 deducted from benefits, and were ordered to pay £85 costs, and a £30 victim surcharge.
Police, who released information about the court case today (January 23), say Fergie, a two-year-old Hermann’s tortoise was taken from his pen at Blackberry Farm on Saturday, September 8.
Images of the two suspects were circulated on social media, generating a huge amount of public engagement.
Following the appeal Harris contacted police and said her partner Paine had been dared by their daughter to steal the tortoise.
Fergie was then returned to the farm on Tuesday, September 11, where he was reunited with his companion Dexter.
The defendants voluntarily attended Lewes Police Station for interview on December 15, and were subsequently summonsed to appear in court charged with theft.
Police said the owners of Blackberry Farm Park wished to thank the public for their support, and were pleased to report Fergie was happy and healthy.