Ruthin man caught fishing illegally was abusive to fisheries officer

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A man caught fishing illegally in the River Clwyd at Ruthin subjected a fisheries officer to a tirade of abuse.

When Geraint Williams was asked for his name, he swore at him.

A court heard how the abuse continued amid some bizarre behaviour when Williams swore but told the officer to stop swearing - even though he was not.

When told he was being reported he snapped his fishing rod over his knee and accused the officer of damaging it.

Williams, aged 53, of Stryd y Golomen in Ruthin, in the end got on his phone and spoke as if he was getting some men down to sort it all out.

He admitted that he fished for brown trout in the closed season, and obstructing the Natural Resources Wales fisheries officer at the Cae Ddol Park in Ruthin, on November 12 last year.

At Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold today he apologised for his behaviour and said he was not a bad person.

He said that he had worked with the police in intelligence in Manchester, had been to the Falklands, was a church goer and worked in a charity shop.

Williams, who said he was not aware of the closed season but conceded that he “lost the plot”, was fined £140 with £85 costs and a £30 surcharge.

Magistrates said that his rod would be confiscated and what was left of it would be destroyed.

They accepted that he would not have limed the river or used a gaff, which he said at a time when he “lost it.”

But they could not believe that as such an experienced fisherman he did not know of the closed season.

Williams said he was not good with dates.

Prosecuting solicitor Dafydd Roberts, for Natural Resources Wales, said that Craig Evans, a member of the fisheries team, received information at 3.45 p.m. on November 12 that there was a man fishing with a rod at Cae Ddol in the closed season.

But when he approached Williams he immediate became obstructive and un co-operative and said that no one was going to stop him fishing and that he was going home and was abusive to the officer.

The abuse was such that the officer had to call the police, Williams then calmed down a little and agreed to be interviewed. When further questioned he became more abusive and said that he would “put a bag of lime in the river tonight.”

Asked if he had caught anything, he said that he had caught a brown trout and had put it back.

When asked what he was fishing for, he replied: “You tell me.”

Williams refused to sign the officer’s book, was shouting at the top of his voice, and said he would go gaffing that night.

He became abusive to a man who approached the officer and offered to become a witness.

And he spoke into his mobile phone as if recruiting people to come down to sort it out.

Williams, who represented himself, said that he had been fishing since the age of four.

He said that 90 per cent of what the court had heard was true and he agreed that he “just lost the plot”.

Williams said that he had worked for the police and his customer service was the best, he was in surveillance in Central Manchester and he had been to The Falklands.

His home had been flooded and he had received no help, he had brought up two children, he went to church, and he worked in a charity shop.

Fishing was his life, he had fished around the world, and he had taken schoolchildren fishing.

He was under the mental health team, could not work because of his condition, and was a full time carer.

The defendant told the court that he was in Cae Ddol fishing for brown trout. He caught one and put it back in.

But he told the court that the river was now heavily polluted because of a farm upstream and said there was nothing in it.

Williams stressed that he would ever go gaffing or lime the river and had said that in the heat of the moment.

At the end of the proceedings he said that he wished to apologise to the officer involved.

Email:

it@nwn.co.uk

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