Chigwell man ordered to pay almost £400 illegal fishing fine

Heybridge Basin

Heybridge Basin - Credit: Essex Environment Agency

An angler from Chigwell has been ordered to pay nearly £400 for fishing without a licence in Essex. 

Thomas Ross, 39, of Forest Terrace, was caught on New Year’s Eve fishing without a valid rod licence at Heybridge Basin, Maldon. 

He pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced at the same court on September 1. 

Ross was told to pay a fine of £360 as well as a £36 victim surcharge. 

This total of £396 is nearly 10 times the price of a £45 annual fishing licence. 

Any angler aged 13 or over who is fishing on a river, canal or still water needs a licence. 

Anyone found fishing illegally may face prosecution and a fine of up to £2,500. 

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Lesley Robertson, enforcement team leader for the Environment Agency in East Anglia, said the case showed they would “not hesitate” to pursue licensing offenders through the courts. 

The agency urged anyone with information about illegal fishing to contact them on 0800 807060.