Farmer who protested against fuel prices 20 years ago found dead

Farmer, 66, who led national protests against soaring fuel prices more than 20 years ago is found dead after he was taken to court by the Environment Agency over illegally disposing waste

  • Mr Haddock was ‘popular’ and known for his ‘forthright views’ 

A farmer who once led national protests against soaring fuel prices over 20 years ago has been found dead after a court case. 

Richard Haddock, 66, of Churston, Devon, was found in the Churston Ferrers area at around midday on Sunday, after appearing at Exeter Crown Court in a case prosecuted by the Environment Agency last Friday.

He pleaded guilty to six offences; four of failing to comply with or contravening a permit and two of operating a regulated facility at Churston Court Farm otherwise than in accordance with a permit in a case involving the illegal disposal of waste. 

The National Farmers’ Union paid tribute to Richard Haddock of Churston, Devon, after his body was found at the weekend.

Police previously released a statement saying a man in his 60s was found dead in Torbay over the weekend.

Mr Haddock (pictured) was a prominent figure of a national fuel protest in 2000

Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the area following reports of concerns for the welfare of the man in the area.

Ambulance crews were also sent to the scene where they found a deceased male.

His next of kin have been informed.

A spokesperson added: ‘This death is not being treated as suspicious and file is being prepared for the coroner.’

The ex-activist owned a farm shop in Churston and also farmed land there and in Brixham.

Mr Haddock was also a leader of a national fuel protest in 2000 which came to prominence after blockading forecourts over soaring fuel prices.

On Monday an NFU spokesman said: ‘We are extremely sorry to hear about the death of former Devon NFU chair Richard Haddock.’

Mr Haddock was a well-known figure in Torbay having previously been elected and served on Brixham Town Council and Torbay Council.

He was chairman of the town council until May of this year and served on Torbay Council as a Conservative and senior councillor until 2019.

Mr Haddock was a former National Farmers’ Union Devon chairman. He was popular with members and known for his forthright views.

He farmed land in the Brixham area and established Churston Farm Shop.

Mr Haddock was also a former National Farmers’ Union Devon chairman. He was popular with members and known for his forthright views

The shop was reportedly closed on Monday.

NFU President Minette Batters said ‘Richard was well known to many of us in the South West and throughout the industry for his campaigning work on behalf of farmers and growers.

‘He served in a number of high profile NFU positions including county chair in 1999, and South West regional board chair in 2006/7.

‘He was also chair of the regional livestock board and NFU national livestock board chair in the early 2000s.

‘On behalf of the NFU and its members, I offer our condolences to Richard’s wife Caroline and all his family and friends at this very sad time.’

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