A 60-year-old landowner has appeared before court concerning the unauthorised gravel removal from a river.
Eamon Duffy, Drumsill Park, Armagh, was convicted at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse, on March 7th, 2022.
He pleaded guilty to one breach of the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966 prescribed under the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, namely unauthorised in-river works as outlined within Section 48.
The judge handed the landowner a fine to a total of £150 along with a £15 offender levy.
On May 4th, 2021, DAERA Inland Fisheries received reports of in-river works. This included the removal of gravel from the river bed taking place on the Callan river adjacent to Drumcairn Road, Armagh.
The court heard Fisheries Protection officers responded to these reports. On arrival at the reported area, it was evident that in-river works had taken place and the landowner had removed gravel from the river bed.
They then established that Mr Duffy was the landowner, who commissioned the works.
He had removed gravel from the river bed without the relevant permissions under Section 48 of the Fisheries Act (NI) 1966.
The court heard that March, April and May are when salmon smolts are most prevalent in river systems as they migrate.
Also, gravel and small stones are an “important” nursery habitat for fish within rivers.
Landowners should apply for a section 48 permit to DAERA Inland Fisheries for consideration before undertaking any in-river works.
DAERA Inland Fisheries enforcement said it is committed to pursue those, whose actions have a “detrimental” effect on fishery habitat and fish passage.
Other court news: 26-year-old who stole 600 sheep told to pay fine or face prison
A judge has ordered a 26-year-old male, who stole over 600 sheep, to pay back the proceeds of his crime.
Daniel Smith, with an address at Sutton St. Nicholas, Hereford, appeared before Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022.
He stole sheep from four locations in fields in the Marden, Sutton St Nicholas and Cross Keys areas of Herefordshire. The thefts occurred between November 2nd, 2020 and January 26th, 2021.
One of the victims identified sheep being sold as those stolen from his farm. Subsequently, 92% of the stolen sheep were recovered over the following two days in March 2021.
Previously, he appeared before court and pleaded guilty to four counts of theft on July 7th, 2021. On August 4th, 2021, the judge sentenced him to serve eight months imprisonment.
On March 8th, 2022, at court, the judge made a confiscation order, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The judge agreed Smith’s benefit figure from the crime to be £11,000.
Read about this court case in full.