Prosecuted for growing alien species of plant

Japanese Knotweed
Japanese Knotweed

A Galliagh man has admitted causing an alien species of plant to be grown in his garden.

Daniel Derek Casey, of Upper Galliagh Road, pleaded guilty to growing or causing Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild on August 31, last year.

Defence solicitor Paddy MacDermott claimed it was the “first prosecution of its kind”.

He told the local magistrates court his client had employed builders to carry out work to his house and they cleared part of the site and dumped soil which included the Japanese Knotweed along another part of Upper Galliagh Road.

Mr MacDermott said the knotweed was removed with up to ten tonnes of soil and his client did not know what the plant was.

District Judge Barney McElholm said “these alien plant species can cause severe problems for our local eco-system”.

However, the judge said he had a “certain amount of sympathy” as “I wouldn’t have known what it was”. The judge imposed a conditional discharge for 12 months and said it “would be a different matter if someone brought such a species into the country”.