Charges dropped against farm boss over otter and water vole sites

Paul Rackham has appeared in court charged with a number of environmental offences Photo: S

Charges have been dropped against director Paul Rackham(senior) - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Charges against a director of a farming company accused of destroying otter and water vole shelters and breeding sites have been dropped.

Paul Rackham senior, 84, of Manor Farm, Bridgham, had been facing two counts of damaging/destroying otter and water, vole shelters at Diss between October 1 2018 and December 31, 2018.

He also faced a charge of damaging/destroying a breeding site of a protected European species, a water vole and otter, between the same dates.

At a hearing at Norwich Magistrates Court on Monday, prosecutor Rebecca Vanstone said that the prosecution had decided to withdraw all the charges against Mr Rackham senior.

The company Paul Rackham Ltd  also had charges withdrawn against it including a charge of felling growing trees without a licence.

The company still faces three charges which includes a charge of acting in contravention of an environmental permit on or before February 13 2019  at Lodge Farm Estate, Gasthorpe, near Diss,

It also faces a charge of damaging/destroying an animal shelter used by a water vole and damaging/destroying a breeding site  of a European protected species. 

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District judge Shanta Deonarine heard further legal arguments from both the prosecution and defence and is due to make a further ruling in the case at Great Yarmouth magistrates court on March 16.

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