21 April 1995

Spray prosecution

OXFORDSHIRE farmer Peter Backhouse has been ordered to pay £500 in fines and costs after he allowed an untrained worker to use a herbicide.

Magistrates in Wantage heard that Mr Backhouse allowed Michael Turner to use Gesaprim (atrazine) without a certificate of competence. Gesaprim is a controlled pesticide under the Control of Pesticide Regulations.

The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive after Mr Turner complained to one of its inspectors of a throat disorder.

Mr Backhouse, Ashdown Farm, Didcot, said he was showing Mr Turner how to use the knapsack sprayer to see if he had an aptitude for spraying before being sent on a training course.

An NFU spokesman said the fine indicated that magistrates are getting tough on spraying violations after the HSE criticised courts for being too lenient.