SAMARITANS have been praised for Koi carp kindness after fishes were tortured by vandals.

Donors moved by news of the attack on 45 fish at Colchester Castle Park’s Imola pond have provided four replacements.

The families and benefactors came from as far away as Cambridge.

A Ghost Koi, a goldish white and two more orange and black Koi joined the pond on Monday following a quarantine period.

Fish, including much-loved Koi Carp, were killed after Jamie Watson drained the temporary tank they were in while he was drunk.

The fish were being kept in the tank late on November 2 while repairs to the Imola Garden Pond, in Upper Castle Park, were being carried out.

Watson even walked off with one of the fish, which measured more than one-foot long.

He was then spotted by CCTV operators walking through Colchester town centre with the fish before leaving it on car bonnet.


Police were called to the scene but when they arrived, Watson - who was with another teenager not charged with any offence - fled, only to be arrested a short time later.

The unemployed 18-year-old admitted theft, causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and two counts of criminal damage when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court last month.

Thanks to quick-thinking park staff - who even carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on some of the larger fish - a number of the creatures were saved.

Annie Feltham, portfolio holder for Business, Leisure and Opportunities, said: "We are extremely touched by the generosity of those who have donated these beautiful fish to Castle Park. The fish are a unique and well-loved feature in the park and we really appreciate this compassionate gesture.

“Our park gardeners and park rangers have been a real credit to the organisation, following this mindless and sickening act of vandalism. They have prepared the donated fish for release and we hope the Koi will continue to give pleasure to visitors for many years to come.”

In January the Park will be expecting to receive two more Koi, which have been donated by a business called Marine Reef based in Great Bromley.

Watson, of no fixed address, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in 12 months and to pay a total of £1,820, including £1,650 in compensation to Colchester Council, which owned the fish and the damaged tank.