Northern Ireland

Derry man prosecuted for growing Japanese knotweed

A Londonderry man has pleaded guilty to planting or growing the Japanese knotweed plant in his garden.

Image caption District Judge Barney McElholm said Japanese knotweed was causing "severe damage" to local plants.

Daniel Derek Casey, 37, committed the offence on August 31 2012 during site clearing work at his home at Upper Galliagh Road.

District Judge, Barney McElholm, at Londonderry Magistrate's court said this "alien plant" was causing "severe damage" to local plant life.

He imposed a conditional discharge for 12 months.

Casey's solicitor, Paddy McDermott, said that his client had employed builders to carry out work to his house last August.

During the course of the work the builders cleared part of the site and dumped soil which included the Japanese Knotweed along another part of Upper Galliagh Road.

Mr McDermott said the knotweed was removed with up to ten tonnes of soil from his site, and his client did not know what the plant was.

Imposing a conditional discharge for 12 months the District Judge, Mr McElholm, said it would have been a different matter if the Japanese knotweed species had been brought in from another country.

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