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Farmer fined over slurry incident

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A farmer has been ordered to pay £10,000 after manure from his herd of 70 cows flooded an elderly neighbour's home.

The manure had built up on the land of John Cockerill, 45, from Rosedale East, North Yorkshire, until heavy rain on September 6, 2008, caused it to flow from his property into neighbouring areas and streams.

The dirty water led to a "foul" three-inch flood into the kitchen and living area of June Crossley's home. It caused extensive damage and forced the pensioner to move out of her home for more than a month. Ms Crossley was "very distressed" about the damage to her home, said environment officer Jim Richards.

Cockerill pleaded guilty to offences of causing polluting matter to enter controlled waters and keeping controlled waste on a small-holding between September 6, 2008, and April 14, 2009, at an earlier hearing at Scarborough Magistrates' Court.

Sentencing, Judge James Spencer QC told Cockerill: "The waste created collected and collected until eventually there was no alternative, it had to escape somewhere and escape it did, when it rained heavily, into your neighbour's property so that she was unable to live there, such was the foul nature of the flood, for over a month."

© Press Association 2010