On 7 March 2017 Edward Blake (General Manager of Ventnor Haven Fishery) pleaded guilty to breaches of the Public Order Act at Newport Combined Court on the Isle of Wight.
The court heard how on 1 September 2015 two MMO marine officers visited Ventnor Haven Fishery in order to assist the business owners with difficulties they had encountered in entering landing data. During the course of this work it was identified that some offences may have been committed and at this point Mr Blake became increasingly agitated with the MMO marine officers. Mr Blake proceeded to swear at the officers, unleashing a tirade of verbal abuse and threats. He then barged past one of the officers making shoulder contact as he left the premises.
It was explained to the court that Mr Blake had been under considerable stress at the time and his actions were out of character. Mr Blake then offered an apology to the court and the MMO Officers for his behaviour.
Mr Blake was given a conditional discharge for 6 months and ordered to pay both a contribution to costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20.
Commenting on the case a spokesman for the MMO said:
“The fact that this case was pursued through to prosecution by the MMO sends out a strong, clear message that we will not tolerate verbal abuse or threatening behavior towards our staff in the course of carrying out their duties.
Our staff maintain professional standards at all times when dealing with the public and expect the same consideration, dignity and respect in return”.
The MMO customer service policy setting out what customers can expect from us and what we expect from them is available on the MMO website.