Judges ordered bungling police to drop a trout poaching case in Kufstein, Austria, after hearing that the defendant had been allowed to eat the only evidence.
Dad Alexander Donninger, 42, had hooked a deep frozen trout he’d bought from a supermarket on a fishing rod and dangled it in a river so his seven-tear-old twins Enya and Arthur could pretend to catch it.
But he found himself facing six months in jail after a passer by reported him to police for apparently fishing without a licence.
Judges, though, threw out the case when they heard that the cost of the alleged loss to the river owner would have been just three GBP and that the defendant had taken the trout home and eaten it, destroying the prosecution’s only exhibit.
The freed dad said after the hearing: “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, but he still he called police.
“He didn’t say anything at the time to me otherwise it could have been speedily settled.”
An unrepentant police spokesman added: “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.”