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National park authority secures prosecution of driver over ‘off-roading’

A national park authority has successfully prosecuted the driver of a 4x4 car who was caught ‘off-roading’ in October last year.

The defendant, Mr Maverick Smith, pleaded guilty yesterday [18 June] to charges relating to the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Criminal Damage Act 1971 over the incident near Nuns Cross Farm, near Princetown.

Dartmoor National Park Authority said its rangers had seen an increasing amount of this type of activity, both with 4x4 vehicles and scrambler bikes over the past few years.

The defendant was spotted on 1 October by one of the authority’s rangers whilst he was out on regular patrol.

Robert Steemson, Community & Land Management Ranger for Dartmoor National Park Authority, said: “I am pleased with the outcome of this case and hope that other illegal off road drivers on either four or two wheels keep off Dartmoor and understand that if they are caught we will prosecute. The Dartmoor National Park Authority continues to work closely with the Police to apprehend those that undertake illegal activities on Dartmoor.”

Tavistock Today reported that Mr Smith’s lawyer, Ceylan Bayram, said in mitigation: "Not all the damage up there was caused by him. He’s entitled to full credit for his guilty plea and his previous good character. He is a working man. I am going to ask you, in light of this, to consider going with a conditional discharge."

The paper said Mr Smith was fined £200 for the criminal damage, with no further fine for the second offence, and ordered to pay £550 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge. The defendant’s fine was reduced by £100 because of his guilty plea.