Prosecution was “legalised blackmail” – Angry trawler skipper cleared of illegal fishing says case cost him £200,000

A South Devon trawler owner cleared of illegal scallop fishing has lashed out at prosecutors who took him to court – in a case which has cost him more than £200,000. Derek Meredith, aged 50, and fellow skipper David Bickerstaff have been acquitted by a jury after a three-week trial. Mr Meredith, who owns the two boats at the centre of the case, said the prosecution had almost crippled him. He added that the two-year prosecution had cost him between £200,000 and £250,000 in lost business and legal fees. But a jury at Gloucester Crown Court acquitted him, Mr Bickerstaff and their companies of 16 counts. >click to read<09:55