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Animal rights activist is relieved to escape jail after pilfering poultry

Tuesday Goti has previously protested topless against bullfighting in Spain
Vegan activist Tuesday Goti speaks to the Sunday World with her daughter Ara. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Vegan activist Tuesday Goti speaks to the Sunday World with her daughter Ara. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Paula Mackin

Tuesday Goti is a relieved and thankful woman.

The chicken thief received a suspended sentence on Thursday when she appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court to face charges in relation to the theft of three chickens.

She arrived with her bag packed after previously being warned by a judge that she could face time behind bars.

But she breathed a sigh of relief when she was told she could go home to her little daughter Ava.

The animal rights activist admitted she was terrified at the thought of time behind bars, heartbroken at the possibility of being separated from her only child.

"I wouldn't have coped too well. Being away from my baby would be the worst thing imaginable. I packed a bag with all the essentials, I didn't even pack my trainers because they had laces and I don't know if they would be allowed. I am so bloody relieved to be home," Tuesday Goti told the Sunday World.

The Hilden woman was facing a 12-month jail term after admitting to her latest crime, stealing three chickens from a farm. But the price she could have had to pay was beyond her wildest dreams.

Vegan activist Tuesday Goti speaks to the Sunday World with her daughter Ara. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Vegan activist Tuesday Goti speaks to the Sunday World with her daughter Ara. Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

The possibility of leaving her baby girl behind, missing out on so many milestones, was a rude awakening for the diehard vegan.

"I would do awfully in prison because I don't want to leave my baby, that's the truth. I just want to be at home cuddled up with her and the dogs," she said.

This is not the first time Tuesday has been charged with this type of crime. Active about animal rights since she was a little girl, she has repeatedly broken the law in her fight for animals and those unfairly treated.

The 34-year-old has also protested topless in Spain against bullfighting.

Despite her close call in court she will never walk away from her campaign and her role in animals rights group Expose NI, she said.

"Now I'm a mother to a 13-month-old baby I have had to step back from direct action.

"I'm applying a different strategy to end animal use, a legal one that allows me to spend all my time with my daughter.

"I will still do my bit though, I just have to be more careful how I do that. The bottom line is that I have to put my child first," Tuesday said.

Goti walked free with a four-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, while her friend denied the offence and was warned by District Judge Nigel Broderick that if she's convicted after a trial, "she runs the very real risk" of going to jail.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court how the farmer contacted police having been made aware of a video circulating on social media which showed a female entering an outbuilding and lifting three chickens.

"Police viewed the footage and identified a vehicle, a grey Mercedes, linked to it," said the lawyer, explaining that while the car was registered to another woman, it had been Goti who had entered the hen house.

When cops arrived at Goti's house, they found the chickens, alive and well, in her bedroom.

Tuesday Goti sat in the public gallery during the proceedings repeatedly wiping away tears as Judge Broderick said: "The only reason I suspended the prison sentence for the co-accused was that she pleaded guilty."

paula.mackin@sundayworld.com


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