A PLYMOUTH angler has been fined £100 with £50 costs for fishing without an Environment Agency rod licence and for falsifying the date on the licence he subsequently obtained. The case was brought by the Environment Agency and heard at Plymouth Magistrates’ court.
Brian Andrew Vandyke of Ernesettle, Plymouth was fishing at Milemead Fishery, Tavistock on 20th April 2003. Environment Agency fishery officers were visiting the venue that day and asked Mr Vandyke for his rod licence. Mr Vandyke claimed he had left his licence at home. The Agency officers then gave Mr Vandyke a form requesting him to produce his licence – in person or by post – at the Agency’s Bodmin office.
When Mr Vandyke’s licence was received by the Agency at Bodmin it was clear that it had been altered. The date of purchase had been changed using a black ballpoint pen to read ‘12th April 2003’ – 8 days before the bailiffs saw Mr Vandyke fishing at Tavistock. Checks with the Post Office where the licence had been issued confirmed that it had been purchased on 22nd April – 2 days after Agency fishery officers had asked Mr Vandyke for his rod licence.
Mr Vandyke pleaded guilty to two charges today: a fine of £50 for fishing without a rod licence contrary to Section 27(a) of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975; and a fine of £50 falsifying a licence contrary to Section 3 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. He was ordered to pay £50 costs.