Bill Wiggin MP said:   

“I support tougher sentencing especially where it is used to protect the public from dangerous people such as burglars, rapists and murderers.  

However a man who has been convicted of damaging a riverbed is not the same sort of threat to our society. 

So I don’t believe that the taxpayer is being well served by giving him a custodial sentence.  

While I respect the division between Parliament and the judiciary, I am very disappointed that the Judge chose to make an example of him and sentence him to 12 months in prison when a fine would have served as a deterrent for potential future offenders.” 

Herefordshire farmer John Price was sentenced by District Judge Ian Strongman to 12 months in prison at Kidderminster Magistrates Court last week.  

MP for North Herefordshire, Sir Bill Wiggin, expressed his disappointment at the custodial sentence imposed on John Price who had prevented the flooding of nearby homes by dredging part of the River Lugg.  

Judge Strongman deemed the damage that Mr Price had caused to the riverbed to be worth a 12-month custodial sentence, in addition to the payment of £600,000 for prosecution costs and disqualification from being a director of a limited company for three years.”