Michael William Denton was found guilty of assaulting a Northumberland Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (NIFCA) officer on Monday, October 12, at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court in Bedlington.
Denton, 34, of Attlee Terrace, Newbiggin, was also found not guilty, along with his father and uncle, of a joint charge of intentional obstruction contrary to the Marine & Coastal Access Act 2009.
The court heard that on October 15, 2019, NIFCA officers attempted to conduct a landing inspection of the catch from fishing vessel Talisman II BK 176 in the car park of the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, Blyth.
Three crew members from the vessel were present and during the course of the inspection, it was accepted by the court that Denton assaulted an officer by physically man-handling him and throwing him from the rear of the vehicle. The officer was not said to be injured in the incident.
Denton was given a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay a total of £434 for victim surcharge and contribution to prosecution costs.
NIFCA’s chief officer Mark Southerton said: “It is extremely important that officers are allowed to carry out their lawful duties and undertake their very important work of inspecting catches in Northumberland to make sure that there is compliance with the rules and regulations which apply.
“This is in the interest of both the protection of the marine environment to help conserve stocks of fish and shellfish and also so that there is fairness between all fishers wishing to undertake lawful fishing activity.
“In finding Mr Denton guilty, it was clearly indicated that the court as well as Northumberland IFCA finds an assault on one of its officers to be completely unacceptable and that this will not be tolerated, particularly where officers are acting as in this case, appropriately and within their legal powers.”