A FARMER has been fined after he assaulted an Environment Agency (EA) officer on his land.

Bournemouth Magistrates Court heard that last year, tenant farmer David House had been told to remove illegally-stored domestic and commercial waste from French’s Farm in Watery Lane, Upton.

On August 17 that year EA officers visited the farm to check whether he had complied. The court heard House obstructed the officers before striking one in an attempt to knock a camera out of his hand.

He was charged with obstruction and assault by beating, both of which he initially denied. However, in court his solicitor said he accepted the officers had a right to be on his site and were exercising a lawful power of entry.

House was fined £100 for each offence plus £165 prosecution costs, and he was ordered to pay £50 compensation.

An EA spokesman said: "We will not tolerate the use of violence against our officers while they are carrying out their lawful duties."