Priddy Circles destruction lands businessman £48,000 bill
The bulldozing of one of the Priddy Circles ancient monuments has cost a Mendip Hills businessman more than £48,000.
Roger Penny of Litton had pleaded guilty to permitting the execution of works affecting a scheduled monument at Priddy between April and October 2011 contrary to the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
At Taunton Crown Court today it was revealed that Penny had agreed to pay for repairs to the 5,000 year old circle, was fined £2,500 and will pay costs of £7,500
The action against him was taken by English Heritage.
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An English Heritage spokesperson said: "English Heritage is very pleased that Mr Penny has agreed to pay for repairs to the monument and other mitigation works at a cost of around £38,000.
"In addition he has been fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £7,500. He will also bear his own defence costs. In sentencing the judge was clear that had it not been for Mr Penny's agreement to pay these substantial mitigation costs, the fine would have been significantly higher.
"The judgement takes into account Mr Penny's early guilty plea, his good character and his full cooperation throughout the case.
"The outcome of this case sends out a clear message that English Heritage can and will prosecute in cases of serious damage and unauthorised works to Scheduled Monuments. The defendant and the court have recognised the great importance of these sites and the serious nature of this offence. The outcome reflects the substantial penalty offenders may expect to receive if convicted.
"The court has also recognised the importance of mitigating the impact to this damaged site. This will give back to the monument some of what has been lost.
"English Heritage would like to thank Avon and Somerset police in particular for their assistance in this matter. Tackling these heritage crimes can only be done properly in a partnership between experts in historic buildings and sites and experts in criminal investigations. This was a very good example of that working."