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P.E.I. fisherman charged for moving boat that wasn't his

<span>Summerside Provincial Court House</span>
Summerside Provincial Court House - The Journal Pioneer


NORTHPORT - A tiff between fishermen over a mooring space at the Northport Harbour Wharf has resulted in an expensive repair bill for one captain and a charge under the criminal code for the other.

The case was before the provincial court in Summerside recently.

Stephen James Ashley of Fortune Cove was charged on Aug. 4 with operating a vessel that didn’t belong to him without the consent of the owner.

Ashley pleaded guilty and was given a suspended sentence and 12 months of probation.

He also has to pay a $100 victim surcharge.

The charge relates to an incident on May 3.

According to the facts read in court, Ashley was returning to the Northport Harbour Wharf when he saw there was another boat docked in his usual mooring spot.

Ashley contacted the port authority and requested the vessel be moved.

Multiple attempts were made to contact the boat’s captain but were unsuccessful.

Eventually Ashley moved the boat himself to the opposite side of the wharf. He could not, however, get it to turn off.

He managed to contact the boat’s owner, who told him that he’d been working on replacing a part of the engine’s pump and that it should not have been moved.

They managed to eventually get the vessel turned off.

The owner of the vessel subsequently claimed almost $33,000 in damages he said were a result of seawater getting into the engine compartment when it was moved.

Ashley has disputed that his actions caused the damage.

The Crown decided not to ask for a restitution order, given that some of the damages were not discovered until several days after the incident.

It suggested a civil case would be a more appropriate venue to determine the victim’s losses, and the court concurred.

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