A man from Smethwick in Birmingham has been found guilty of one charge of fishing without a rod licence at the Ripple Fishery on the River Severn in Gloucestershire.
On 9 August 2014, Environment Agency enforcement officers were patrolling rivers as part of Operation Stone – a programme of targeted fisheries operations to reduce illegal fishing, fish removal and theft on the rivers Severn and Avon.
They saw Mareks Doniks on the riverbank fishing during the day. He was approached by an officer while returning to his vehicle and was asked to produce his rod licence. The court heard that Doniks was unable to provide proof of a valid rod licence.
The Environment Agency processed the defendant for the rod licence offence and officers from the agency returned to the location where he had been seen fishing earlier that day.
Officers had found a bag containing a dead bream and eel.
On Monday, 14 September at Stroud Magistrates’ Court, Doniks pleaded not guilty and claimed he was sitting on the riverbank – but was not fishing. He was found guilty, however, and was ordered to pay a £50 fine, £717 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
After the hearing, an enforcement officer for the Environment Agency said:
“No matter where anglers choose to fish in England, they need a rod licence.
“ The money raised by the sale of rod licences helps us to carry out vital work to help maintain, develop and protect fisheries.
“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals when they do not abide by the law.”
Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors
Duncan Lewis can advise at any stage of a charge in a magistrates’ court or Crown Court, including charges relating to fishing permits, firearms licences, motoring offences, public order offences or charges involving flying a drone in a public place.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide and in most major cities – and a criminal defence lawyer can usually reach a police station for interview under caution within an hour.
Duncan Lewis can also attend interviews with other prosecuting authorities such as local councils, the Environment Agency and HSE.
For expert legal advice on all criminal charges, call Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors on 020 7923 4020.
For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.