Damage caused by off-road vehicles on Dartmoor. Photo: Dartmoor NPA

Damage caused by off-road vehicles on Dartmoor. Photo: Dartmoor NPA

National park bosses have welcomed the successful prosecution of a driver caught off-roading in Dartmoor.

The 4×4 driver Maverick Smith pleaded guilty to charges under the Road Traffic Act and criminal damage.

The 23-year-old was fined £200, ordered to pay £550 costs and a surcharge of £30.

Dartmoor National Park Authority said it was ‘delighted’ with the outcome of the case, which followed the incident in October last year when Smith was seen driving his vehicle on access land near Nuns Cross Farm, near Princetown.

An authority spokesperson said: “Rangers have seen an increasing amount of this type of illegal, disrupting and damaging activity, both with 4×4 vehicles and scrambler bikes over the past few years and the damage it causes to the moor and the landscape.

“The incident took place on Sunday 1 October and was spotted by one of our rangers while out on regular patrol. The ranger observed the vehicle damaging moorland near Nuns Cross farm and told the driver who he was, why he had stopped him and that he was recording the registration number.

“He then mentioned he would be investigating offences contained within the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Criminal Damage Act 1971.”

Robert Steemson, community and land management ranger for Dartmoor National Park Authority said: “I am pleased with the outcome of this case and hope that other illegal off-road drivers on either four or two wheels keep off Dartmoor and understand that if they are caught we will prosecute.

“The Dartmoor National Park Authority continues to work closely with the police to apprehend those that undertake illegal activities on Dartmoor.”

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