Banned: Motorist who damaged crops after driving onto North Yorkshire field

Topcliffe, where Mark Hughes drove his vehicle. Pic: Google Maps
Topcliffe, where Mark Hughes drove his vehicle. Pic: Google Maps

A driver caused "substantial inconvenience and financial loss" to a North Yorkshire farm business after driving onto a field and damaged crops.

Mark James Hughes has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation and has had his vehicle taken from him after being found guilty of criminal damage at the site at Topcliffe, near Thirsk.

The 33-year-old of Eden Street, Horden, Durham, was convicted of criminal damage at Northallerton Magistrates' Court on August 25.

On 12 November 2016, a Land Rover Discovery was driven on to a field at Topcliffe. It got stuck, buried into the mud to axle depth. Hughes was seen nearby, and was interviewed by North Yorkshire Police.

The field was due to be replanted in the near future, but because the vehicle had driven over it, it could no longer be planted, due to the risk of contaminants, police say.

At court, Hughes was disqualified from driving for six months, deprived of the Land Rover Discovery, and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation.

PC Arfan Rahouf, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Hughes’ thoughtless and reckless actions caused substantial inconvenience and financial loss to a farm business. The vehicle was so badly stuck that even a tractor struggled to get it out.

“The compensation, driving ban, and loss of the vehicle will send a clear message that this behaviour is absolutely unacceptable to North Yorkshire’s rural communities, and police will deal with such incidents robustly.”