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Man convicted of criminal damage to crops by driving on to farmland

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A man has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation and has had his vehicle taken off him, after he caused substantial damage to crops near Thirsk.

Mark James Hughes, 33, of Eden Street, Horden, Durham, was found guilty of criminal damage at Northallerton Magistrates Court on 25 August 2017.

On 12 November 2016, a Land Rover Discovery was driven on to a field at Topcliffe. It got stuck, buried into the mud to axle depth. Hughes was seen nearby, and subsequently interviewed by officers.

The field was due to be replanted in the near future, but because the vehicle had driven over it, it could no longer be planted, due to the risk of contaminants.

At court, Hughes was disqualified from driving for six months, deprived of the Land Rover Discovery, and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation.

PC Arfan Rahouf, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Hughes’ thoughtless and reckless actions caused substantial inconvenience and financial loss to a farm business. The vehicle was so badly stuck that even a tractor struggled to get it out.

“The compensation, driving ban, and loss of the vehicle will send a clear message that this behaviour is absolutely unacceptable to North Yorkshire’s rural communities, and police will deal with such incidents robustly.”

Last modified: October 16, 2018