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Delay in court hearing captain’s £13k planning fine appeal

Byoxfordnewspaper

Oct 9, 2022

An ‘eccentric captain’s’ fight to overturn his £13k planning fine has been put back a month – after he told the court that he was unable to attend Friday’s planned hearing.

Simon Courtney-Worthy, 62, was due before Oxford Crown Court last week to appeal the £13,000 fine imposed by the magistrates’ court in July for flouting planning enforcement notices.

The captain of vessel ‘Boaty McFloaty’ ignored council warnings to demolish an ‘illegal’ riverside shed and banning him from mooring a boat on land by the River Thames near Long Wittenham.

Judge Michael Gledhill KC was told on Friday that Courtney-Worthy had asked for an adjournment as his mother was ‘extremely unwell’.

The circuit judge, sitting alongside two magistrates, described the situation as ‘troubling’.

“If it’s correct that his mother is seriously ill and unable to care for herself of course the case must be adjourned,” he said.

“The reason we are troubled is that the last line of his email [says] ‘I will inform the court of my situation’ and we’ve not heard a word from him.”

The bench agreed to an adjournment, putting the case back to November 4.

The appeal hearing was listed for 45 minutes. Courtney-Worthy has previously been refused permission to appeal his convictions, having pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to comply with enforcement notices issued in January 2019.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward