Chesterfield man nets £431 penalty for fishing without a licence

Dave

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A 22-year-old man from Chesterfield has been successfully prosecuted by the Environment Agency after being found guilty of fishing without a licence.

Published 21 August 2019

From: Environment Agency



An annual fishing licence costs just £30

An annual fishing licence costs just £30

The case was brought to Northampton Magistrates Court on 5 August 2019 where Bradley Topham from North Crescent, Duckmanton pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay a total penalty of £431.
An annual fishing licence would have cost him just £30.
The penalty includes a fine of £266 plus costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £30 after Mr Topham was found in breach of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act (1975) on 12 May at Harlesthorpe Dam, Clowne
Following the verdict, James Anderson, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for the Environment Agency, said:
The case shows how seriously the courts take these offences and acts as a reminder to anglers of the importance of having a fishing licence. We hope it will provide a deterrent to any angler who is thinking of fishing without a licence.

We would also like to remind anglers who wish to buy their licence online of the importance of buying their fishing licence directly from GOV.UK as they will receive a reference number allowing them to go fishing on the same day.

Customers who use third party sites may be charged more and might not get added to the official database as quickly.
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.
Income from fishing licence sales is used to fund Environment Agency work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries, including improving habitats for fish and facilities for anglers, tackling illegal fishing and working with partners to encourage people to give fishing a go.
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). They are free for those aged 13 to 16. Licences are available online or by calling the Environment Agency on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
The Environment Agency carries out enforcement work all year round and is supported by partners including the police and the Angling Trust. Fisheries enforcement work is intelligence-led, targeting known hot-spots and where illegal fishing is reported.
Anyone with information about illegal fishing activities can contact the Environment Agency Incident Hotline 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
 

ukzero1

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What I can't understand is the difference in fines imposed. 1 chap gets done for £600, yet another gets £431. They should standardise the fines across the country.
 

Chervil

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What I can't understand is the difference in fines imposed. 1 chap gets done for £600, yet another gets £431. They should standardise the fines across the country.
ukzero1. Fines are based on the offender's ability to pay, so the more you earn, the more you pay.
 

willothewisp

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And non of that money comes back into angling 😡😡😡
True. The fines go to the Treasury while only the costs of taking the case to court go to the EA. Obviously if the angler pleads guilty, or on failing to appear is found guilty in absence, the uncontested court costs are less. But if contested the costs might be greater as the EA tend to use prosecuting solicitors locally based to the court and seem to "lump together" their angling prosecutions to do them in a batch to minimise costs. I used regularly read reports for various Yorkshire courts in Bradford, Leeds, Skipton etc, as they'd feature in local papers.
 

rudd

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ukzero1. Fines are based on the offender's ability to pay, so the more you earn, the more you pay.
I think that is called victimisation. Why should someone who earns more pay bigger fines?
Most likely they work long hours etc to earn more - this goes for any fine.
If found guilty of murder would a high earner get life whilst Mr benefits gets ten years because he couldnt be arsed?
 

Chervil

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I think that is called victimisation. Why should someone who earns more pay bigger fines?
Most likely they work long hours etc to earn more - this goes for any fine.
If found guilty of murder would a high earner get life whilst Mr benefits gets ten years because he couldnt be arsed?
As I understand it, the idea of fines is to hurt people financially, as a deterrent/punishment. So fining someone who earns minimum wage £100 is going to hurt them more than the same fine for someone who earns £1000 a week. Therefore the fines are on a sliding scale.

This is the calculator that courts use to determine the fine.

 

TrickyD

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it should have been more
Why should it have been more ? People get fined less for not having a TV license, yet a TV license costs 5 times an EA license. Perhaps they should fine people £2,500 for doing 35 in a 30 limit.
 

Corn Master

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Why should it have been more ? People get fined less for not having a TV license, yet a TV license costs 5 times an EA license. Perhaps they should fine people £2,500 for doing 35 in a 30 limit.
I think they should make examples of people without licenses. You fish with no licence = big fine.
 

TrickyD

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I think they should make examples of people without licenses. You fish with no licence = big fine.
The problem with fines is they are not consistent, even taking into account ability to pay. For such a small outlay (£30 on average) for a license it is madness to not have one when fishing, though sometimes renewal may slip the mind (mine ran out and I only rememberd to renew it the day before a trip,could have been me in court) . The other thing with fines is that some people just won't pay them. Best option would be minimal fine& costs, then unpaid work clearing rubbish from waterways & their banks, and on a weekend as well.
 

Ivan heaphurst

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It always will get my goat. The money we spend on tackle,bait and transport, yet some of us cannot be bothered to spend £30 on. Rod licence. I don't know about anyone else but there are fish in waters where previously due to pollution at one time here were none.
£30 is a small and value for money price to pay.
 

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