Animal Aid


Posted 15 December 2003

Shoot enthusiast a self-confessed 'madman'

Cutting from the Daily Express

National campaign group, Animal Aid, is calling on the Firearms Licensing Authority to revoke the Shotgun Certificate of actor, former footballer and shooting enthusiast Vinnie Jones.

On 12 December, Jones was convicted for an air rage incident in which he verbally and physically abused fellow passengers and cabin crew on board a Virgin flight to Tokyo. Uxbridge Magistrates court was told that Jones repeatedly hit one passenger in the face and threatened: "I can get the whole crew murdered for £3,000". After his conviction, Jones is reported to have told the News of the World, "I'm a Jekyll and Hyde character... I need to control my temper".

Animal Aid maintains that his recent conviction, his own reported admission that he "acted like a madman" and his previous track record for violent behaviour are justification for the revocation of his firearms certificate.

Jones' temper and bullying, both on and off the pitch, is legendary. In 1995, he was reported to the FA after allegedly threatening to rip off Kenny Dalglish's ear and "spit in the hole". He was fined £20,000 by the FA for glorifying violence on the Soccer's Hard Men video, in which he gives advice on how to hold up opponents by the armpit hair and how to stud a rival's Achilles heel. In his relatively short footballing career, Jones was sent off 13 times and has the record for the fastest booking from kick-off (5 seconds).

Jones is also an avid bloodsports enthusiast and a regular guest at pheasant shooting parties. His celebrity status has been exploited by the shooting press in an attempt to glamorise the 'sport'. Shooting Times magazine encourages young children to take up shooting, some of whom might regard Jones as a role model. In 2002, Jones stated: "It's my thing [shooting]... I just love it".

Says Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid:

"Vinnie Jones is a loose cannon with a very nasty streak. With his penchant for killing animals for fun and his history of violence, he is precisely the sort of person who should be barred from keeping a firearm. Who knows where and when he'll be struck by his next moment of madness. Factory farmed pheasants might not be the only victims."

Notes to Editors

  • For more information contact Andrew Tyler or Claudia Tarry on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality interviews.
  • Read the full background on Animal Aid's campaign against the pheasant shooting industry, which purpose-breedds around 30 million birds each year.

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