A 44-year old man from Leicester has been found guilty of fishing without a licence, failing to state his name and address, and obstructing a constable in the execution of his duties in June 2018.
The case was brought to Leicester Magistrates Court by the Environment Agency on 5 December 2018 where Matt Ralton, of St Stephens Road, Leicester was proved guilty in his absence and ordered to pay a total penalty of £1,428.
The penalty includes fines of £800 plus costs of £548 and a victim surcharge of £80 after Ralton was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) and the Police Act (1996) on 2 June 2018 at Watery Gate, Normanton Turville, Thurlaston.
Following the verdict, Peter Haslock, Area Enforcement Team Leader for the Environment Agency said:
“This case shows anglers how seriously the courts take these offences and highlights how we do not tolerate obstructive behaviour towards our officers under any circumstances.
“It acts as a reminder to anglers of the importance of having a rod licence and we hope it will provide a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence or of failing to give details to an officer.
“All of the money raised from rod licence sales is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, benefitting anglers and, for those caught cheating the system, we will always prosecute.”
Every year across the country, thousands of anglers are prosecuted for not having a fishing licence. As well as cheating other anglers, fishing illegally can carry a hefty penalty. Getting caught without a licence could land a fine of up to £2,500.
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Any angler aged 13 or over, fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. A 1-day licence costs from just £6 and an annual licence costs from just £30 (concessions available). Licences are available from www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.