Bath magistrate Richard Curry is to face charge of pollution
A Bath magistrate has had to step aside from his court duties after being prosecuted by the Environment Agency for an alleged slurry incident which polluted a reservoir.
Richard Curry, who runs Court Farm in Compton Martin and has been a magistrate for more than 15 years, is due to appear at Chippenham Magistrates Court next month.
His appearance is in connection with an incident which happened on or around January 10 last year.
The Environment Agency alleges that slurry from his farm ended up in the tributary of the Congresbury Yeo, which leads to Blagdon Lake reservoir.
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The 440-acre stretch of water is owned by Bristol Water and also acts as a fishing lake and nature reserve.
It is not known what the impact of the pollution on the lake's fish was.
Mr Curry had been chair of the Bath Magistrates Bench for a number of years, before moving to the position of vice-chair when it recently became the new amalgamated Bath Wansdyke Bench.
A spokesman for the Government's Judicial Office confirmed that Mr Curry would not be carrying out his court duties while the case was ongoing.
He said: "Mr Curry has agreed not to sit while he is subject to these proceedings and nor is he carrying out any of his magisterial duties.
"He is no longer chairman of the amalgamated bench.
"While he was elected as deputy chairman of the new bench, he is not exercising any of those duties either while he is refraining from sitting."
Court Farm is predominantly a dairy farm and has been run by the Curry family for almost 50 years.
Last summer the business expanded with the opening of a fish and chip cafe.
Mr Curry declined to comment when contacted by the Chronicle.
Bristol Water, which pipes more than 9.5 billion litres of water a year from the lake, has also declined to comment on the issue.