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Boater fined for outstaying welcome

A local boater has been fined for leaving his yacht moored at a public pontoon for weeks on end, despite a two-hour limit. 

Raymond Langwell was prosecuted by Gosport Borough Council for leaving the vessel tied up to the landing stage at Hardway. 

He appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 29 January accused of breaking local bylaws. He admitted five charges of breaking the two-hour mooring limit, and one charge of leaving his van parked on the public slipway for longer than the permitted two hours. 

He gave his address as his boat, Catchphrase. 

He was fined a total of £180 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30, plus £300 towards council costs. 

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Hook, said: "We acted after complaints from residents that the boat was being tied up for very long periods. 

"A two-hour limit is needed so boats can come and go and there's room for everyone to use the landing stage. Likewise, we need the slipway to be available. 

"We only took action after several informal conversations with this man, and two formal warnings, over a number of months. 

"Our enforcement officer gathered detailed evidence that proved the mooring ropes had not been untied for some time, giving us a strong case." 

The council has withdrawn permission for Catchphrase to be moored at the landing stage under any circumstances. If it remains, officers will remove it.

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