By Oliver Hall
A fisherman has won a landmark legal battle after a fly-tipping charge against him was cast out of court when he proved he was using old tyres to catch crabs.
For more than 60 years the fishing fraternity has been using rubber tyres as a traditional method of trapping crabs to use as bait, which is not illegal.
However, angler Gavin Hall was brought before South Tyneside Magistrates Court charged with fly-tipping and littering after an off-duty policeman saw him placing tyres in Jarrow’s River Don earlier this year.
The 22-year-old’s case attracted interest from fishing enthusiasts nationwide – as it would have had made the age-old tradition illegal, had he been found guilty.
But following a day-long trial, Mr Hall was cleared of all charges after magistrates ruled he did nothing wrong.
Delighted with the verdict, Mr Hall said: “I’m so relieved because it would have had severe consequences for our sport.
“It should never have been brought to court.”