Fish­ers hit with le­gal bill days af­ter fire

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY KIERAN BEAT­TIE

A group of Aberdeen fish­er­men who lost a court case last year have been hit with a le­gal fee bill of around £45,000 – just days af­ter their ves­sels were de­stroyed in a ma­li­cious fire.

The Cove Fish­er­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion was forced to move its boats at Cove Har­bour last year af­ter a court ruled in favour of landowner Pral­had Kolhe – who owns sec­tions of the his­toric bay.

Mr Kolhe has been seek­ing to re­move the boats from his land, but in the months since the le­gal de­ci­sion, the fish­er­men have con­tin­ued their ac­tiv­i­ties by keep­ing their re­main­ing ves­sels in a much smaller pocket of the har­bour not un­der the landowner’s con­trol. The court also ruled that Mr Kolhe had no right to pre­vent pub­lic ac­cess to the pier.

Decades of fish­ing her­itage went up in smoke last week­end, when a de­lib­er­ate fire de­stroyed the re­main­ing ves­sels and equip­ment.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent, but no­body has yet been charged.

As­so­ci­a­tion chairman Jim Adam has now set up an on­line fundraiser to help with le­gal costs.

He said yes­ter­day: “I couldn’t be­lieve that he would in­struct so­lic­i­tors to fire across his court costs to us just days af­ter we lost the boats in the fire, and now he’s con­tin­u­ing what­ever op­er­a­tion he’s try­ing to do by com­pletely block­ing off all the re­main­ing turn­ing space in the har­bour.

“Right now, we’re hop­ing to get £45,000, which is what we’ve been told is the le­gal fees.”

To donate visit www. justgiv­ing.com and search for Help Cove Fish­er­men.

Mr Kolhe de­clined to com­ment.

“We’re hop­ing to get £45,000, which is the le­gal fees”

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