A grandfather has been caught red handed stealing fish from a Northumbrian Water reservoir.
David Hopper of Eden Road, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, pleaded guilty by post before Darlington magistrates after being caught with 12 trout in his bag on the banks of Grassholme Reservoir, Teesdale, four fish over the legal limit.
He was fined £115 for theft and ordered to pay £75 costs.
Northumbrian Water also banned him for a year from fishing its reservoirs and Hopper told the court in his letter that his biggest disappointment was having to tell his nine-year-old grandson that he can no longer take him fishing.
Paul Kelly, prosecuting for Northumbrian Water said: "The continued success of the fishery is dependent upon anglers complying with the fishing rules. Theft of fish is a serious problem as it reduces the number of stocked fish and thereby spoils the enjoyment of law-abiding anglers."