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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbrian salmon poachers must pay £3,000 court costs

Two poachers caught hunting for salmon have been landed with hefty court bills.

Anthony Faulkner and Anthony Long must pay costs of £2,000 and £1,000 respectively after being spotted at night at the River Ehen in the Cumbrian countryside.

Faulkner, 23, of The Ferns, Egremont, was also given a three-and-a-half month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Both he and Long, 26, of Central Avenue, Egremont, must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work for the community.

The men, who are unemployed, were due to stand trial at Carlisle Crown Court after choosing to have the case heard by a jury. But on the day they decided to enter guilty pleas.

Faulkner admitted unlicensed fishing and using a prohibited instrument – a stick – for the purposes of taking salmon. Long admitted using a prohibited instrument – a light – for the purposes of taking salmon. The offences happened on October 25, 2010.

Judge Paul Batty, QC, passing sentence, said poaching “of this type of fish” caused enormous environmental and economic damage.

He ruled they must pay four-figure sums in court costs after hearing the overall price tag of the investigation and legal process came to more than £8,900.

Chris Stables, prosecuting, said two water bailiffs from the Environment Agency had seen three men at the waterside.

Faulkner was heard calling out “there is a fish, there is a fish” after being spotted in the water using his hands and a sharpened stick. Long was carrying a powerful lamp.

The officers called for help and the men were stopped upstream near Cleator. The third man was not caught.

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