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 medieval ages again.”

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