Suspended jail sentence for fisherman
A fisherman who failed to use navigation lights despite several police warnings has been jailed for 28 days, suspended for two years.
Dean James Rollason appeared at Truro Crown Court charged with breaches of the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea.
The 27-year-old, from Plymouth, who fished mainly from his boat Top Dog, admitted the charge and as well as the suspended jail sentence was ordered to pay £500 in costs.
In passing sentence, Judge Peter Johnson said Rollason put other mariners at risk by repeatedly ignoring the law.
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"You are an inshore fisherman that repeatedly flouted regulations for your commercial gain," he said. "Time and time again you flouted the law. "Having no navigation lights, you put yourself and other sea-users at risk."
The court heard that the offences took place between January 8 and June 3 this year when Rollason was observed on five occasions operating a fishing vessel without navigation lights at night.
The incidents occurred in the Fowey River, River Camel estuary, Penryn River and off Looe in Cornwall.
Several agencies reported the sightings to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) who instigated legal action after reviewing the evidence. Four of the offences were committed in a small fishing vessel Top Dog, owned by Rollason, of Bridwell Road, Western Mill, Plymouth.
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier magistrates' court hearing to five breaches of the Merchant Shipping (Distress Signal and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations 1996 by failing to comply with Rule 23 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. However, the magistrates' court had felt it had insufficient powers and passed the matter to the crown court for sentencing.