THREE brazen anglers were caught after fishing TWO different rivers in the Close Season – and then tried escaping in bushes.

The three rogues from Liverpool, Merseyside, were prosecuted after wilfully obstructing an Environment Agency bailiff.

Jack O’Callaghan, 30, Patrick Jones, 35, and Alan Clelland, 56, all pleaded guilty in a case held at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court in Newcastle-Under-Lyme.

O’Callaghan was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £480 while Jones and Clelland were each ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £400.

O’Callaghan admitted three other charges in that he fished without a licence, fished in the Close Season and failed, when required to do so, to state his name and address to the Environment Agency bailiff.

Jones admitted two other charges in that he fished in the Close Season and without a licence.
And Clelland admitted one other offence in fishing during the Close Season.

How the law-breakers were caught

An EA spokesperson said: “EA enforcement officers received intelligence that three men were fishing on the River Trent at Great Haywood in Staffordshire on April 19, 2019.

“They were later spotted in the grounds of nearby Shugborough Hall where they were fishing the River Sow.

“EA officers and estate rangers attempted to speak with the men but a short foot chase ensued where the suspects became aggressive and also tried to hide within bushes.

“Having been joined by officers from Staffordshire Police, the men were eventually apprehended on the main road in Great Haywood.

“This case shows how determined we are in catching and prosecuting people who flout the laws and obstruct our officers in carrying out their duties.

“An annual fishing licence costs just £30, yet a small number of anglers continue to risk prosecution for fishing without a licence and breaching byelaws in place to protect fish stocks.”

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