Poacher loses court appeal

Alan Crellin fishing illegally on a section of river at the Nunnery

Alan Crellin fishing illegally on a section of river at the Nunnery

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An angler has lost his appeal against his conviction for poaching in the Nunnery estate in Douglas.

Alan Crellin had pleaded not guilty to two offences of unauthorised fishing in private waters in the Nunnery estate.

But following a trial last August, he was convicted of both charges.

Magistrates sentenced him to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him pay £500 costs. They also ordered that his fishing equipment be confiscated and hia fishing licence forfeited. He was disqualified from holding a fishing licence for 12 months.

Mr Crellin, 50, of Cullyn Path, Anagh Coar, appealed against his conviction but he has now lost his appeal.

He had found himself in hot water after taking a defiant stand against what he saw asa moves to restrict the public from fishing on publicly-owned land.

In September 2011, the angler made headlines in the Examiner when he vowed to continue fishing at the Nunnery estate despite being warned to stop by the Manx Game Fishing Club, which leases the stretch of the River Douglas from the International Business School.

He told the Examiner then: ‘I don’t see how the government can hive off public land like this. This is public land and it should be open and available to the public, especially the young, to fish.’

He said he had made repeated requests to see the lease agreement, questioned why the arrangement has never been put to public tender and maintained he would only stop fishing if could see the signed lease

The Manx Game Fishing Club, which has 40 members and fishing rights to three local waters, controls fishing on the stretch of River Douglas running through the Nunnery estate between Pulrose Bridge and Tesco on the north side and between the steam railway bridge and the top of the boat pool on the south side. It has had a lease to the waters since 1987 when the Nunnery was still in private hands.

In September 2011 then Education Minister Eddie Teare said he would seek expressions of interest in the lease.

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