Published Feb 13, 2020

Kent man convicted for unlicensed fishing and public order offences

A man from Kent has been fined over £1,700 for unlicensed fishing and public order offences.

The man had pleaded not guilty to charges of unlicensed fishing and using threatening, abusive and insulting words towards an Environment Agency Fisheries Enforcement Officer at Hawkhurst Fishery in June 2019. However, following evidence by a member of the Voluntary Bailiff Service and an Environment Agency officer, the man was convicted at Hastings Magistrates Court of the offences in January 2020. The court imposed a total penalty of £1723.11.

The court heard how the man had been using four rods and was seen to reel in one of these by the Environment Agency officer. The man did not have a licence for the fourth rod, and became abusive and threatening as the officer issued an offence report form. The Environment Agency officer was joined by the Volunteer Bailiff which decreased the mans initial aggression.

The man had 72 previous convictions, including a prosecution for unlicensed fishing in April 2019.

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: "Abusive and threatening behaviour towards Environment Agency Officers and volunteers working with us will not be tolerated".

"We will not hesitate to take enforcement action against anyone who attempts to intimidate officers or volunteers in this way. Anyone wishing to use 4 rods, where allowed, should ensure all are licensed".