Four Ipswich men fined hundreds of pounds for illegal fishing offences
PUBLISHED: 16:36 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 12 April 2019
Four Ipswich men have been fined a total of £1,600 for fishing illegally in Suffolk waters.
They were among 15 fined £6,410 by magistrates during a day of sentencing for angling offences in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.
John Lestrange, 26, of Nacton Road, and Stephen Tranter, 49, of Kerry Avenue, were fined £440 for unlicensed fishing at Suffolk Water Park on August 19 last year.
Bradley Burchell, 38, of Dandalan Close, was fined £440 for unlicensed fishing at Chantry Park on October 1, while Zak Hageman, 23, of Speedwell Road, was fined £330 for possession of an unlicensed instrument with intent to fishing at the same location on the same date.
Both were identified by Environment Agency officers following a call to the incident hotline from a member of the public.
The fines, issued at Luton Magistrates’ Court, ranged from £330 to £660, with each angler also ordered to pay £127.47 in costs and a victim surcharge of £30 to £60.
Twelve anglers were fined for unlicensed fishing; two for possession of an unlicensed instrument; and one for unlicensed fishing and providing false details. Five were caught on the Norfolk Broads, while six were caught in Essex – three at Newland Hall Fishery, one at Hanningfield Reservoir and two at Weeley Lakes.
Environment Agency enforcement team leader, Lesley Robertson said: “Our fisheries enforcement officers regularly patrol waters across East Anglia.
“During August, September and October 2018, our officers reported 15 anglers for 16 fishing offences across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
“Our officers are deemed to be a constable for the purposes of enforcing the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975, or any order or byelaw under it.
“These cases show that anyone found fishing illegally, or who fails to provide their name and address to an officer carrying out their duties, may face prosecution and a fine.
“The money raised through the sales of rod licences is reinvested and enables us to improve all fisheries, including rivers, for anglers. Our officers routinely undertake licence checks and we urge anyone with information about illegal fishing activities to contact us on 0800 807060.”
Licences can be bought on 0344 800 5386 between 8am and 6pm, from gov.uk/fishing-licences or from any Post Office.