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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Cumbrian gamekeeper turned poacher sentenced for illegal fishing

A former gamekeeper has been given a suspended prison term for illegally fishing salmon and trout.

Neil Brady, of Thornhill, Egremont, admitted illegal fishing activity in the River Ehen when he appeared in court in Workington, together with firearms offences.

The court heard how Brady’s car was stopped by Environment Agency and police officers after a tip-off.

They discovered seven salmon and two sea trout in the vehicle and two further fish during a search of his home.

An Environment Agency spokesman said the river was “internationally renowned” for its salmon species.

He said Brady admitted in interview that he had illegally taken the fish by using an unlicensed net.

During the search of his home, offences relating to contravening firearms certificates were discovered, which he also admitted.

Brady was given 42 days in prison for the fishing offence and 42 for firearms offences, suspended for 12 months.

Steve Powell, fisheries specialist from the Environment Agency, said poaching fish threatened the future of salmon and sea trout.

“It could undo the work that has been invested in improving our rivers,” he said. “Our fisheries legislation exists to help protect the biodiversity and wildlife found within our Cumbrian rivers."

Brady was also ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work in the community and pay a victim surcharge of £80, plus £500 towards the Environment Agency’s costs.

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