Northern Ireland

Coleraine farmer fined for mucky Portrush road

A farmer has been fined for allowing muck from his fields to be dragged onto roads in the Portrush area.

It is one of the first cases of its kind to come before the court.

Norman McCollum, 51, of Islandtasserty Road, Coleraine, admitted causing mud and muck to be deposited on a road causing or be likely to cause an obstruction or danger.

The offences happened on the Atlantic Road and on the Coleraine and Agherton Roads, Portrush, on 7 November 2011.

A prosecutor said police received complaints from road users that the road was dangerous to drive on because of mud.

The mud was brought onto the road by agricultural vehicles owned by contractors working on behalf of McCollum, the prosecutor said.

The court was told white lines and cat's eye reflectors were obscured by mud which also affected the steering and traction of a police vehicle.

A lawyer for McCollum said an "unfortunate combination" of large agricultural machinery and November weather had caused the situation.

He said his client had employed contractors to cut maize and because of the weather there was pressure to bring the crop in.

The lawyer said the defendant had tried to clean up the road using a slurry tanker filled with water but this attempt was unsuccessful.

District Judge Richard Wilson said the roads were in a dangerous position and had been left like that for some time while the defendant was reluctant to do anything about it.

The judge fined McCollum £500.