Fishing without a valid rod licence cost seven men a total of£835 when they appeared before Dartford Magistrates 0n 3rd August.

The prosecutions were brought by the Environment Agency in acrackdown on licence dodgers who cheat their fellow anglers by makingno financial contribution to the water environment.

To catch the culprits the Environment Agency has been patrollingthe river banks and checking hundreds of licences across Kent.

Those who were unable to show a valid licence on the day weregiven seven days to produce them before summonses were served.”Fishing without a licence is a false economy as the peopleprosecuted today could have fished legally for over five years at thecurrent licence rates,” said Fisheries Officer, Tim Harrison. “Also,the money raised through licence sales is invested back intofisheries to benefit all anglers so the licence dodger cheats hisfellow angler of maximum investment.”

The following defendants pleaded guilty by post to fishing withouta licence, contrary to Section 27 (a) of the Salmon and FreshwaterFisheries Act 1975 and were each fined £35 with £80 costs;· Colin Tillett (38) of 358, Frobisher Road, Erith – caughtfishing on April 21, 2001 at Darenth Complex, Dartford. · KevinPalmer (49) of Green Street, Dartford – April 21, 2001 at DarenthComplex, Dartford · Stuart Topp (36) of Wordsworth House,Woolwich House, Woolwich – as above.

William John Hill of Armitage Road, Greenwich – as above. ·Stuart Haywood (27) of Blackmores, Laindon, Basildon – as above. Thefollowing defendants were found guilty in their absence and were eachfined £50 with £80 costs. They were challenged on May 07 atBrooklands Lake, Dartford. · Brian Gravener (37) of WoodsideGreen, London. Keith Tidman (49) of Kidd Place, Charlton, London.