A GWENT man has walked free from court after admitting dumping farm slurry in a river.

Andrew Alford of Llanddewi Skirrid, near Abergavenny, appeared at Cwmbran Magistrates Court earlier today, where he admitted contaminating the River Gavenny with farm slurry.

The 51-year-old was handed a 24-month conditional discharge for the offence, which took place on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,750 and a £15 victim surcharge.

The prosecution was brought by Natural Resources Wales, a government-funded body formed in 2013 to protect and maintain the environment.

The organisation’s natural resource management team leader Holly Sisley said: “Slurry effluent is a strong pollutant removing oxygen from the water, killing fish and water insects.

“We’ve been working closely with farmers for many years to keep an eye on weather forecasts to plan slurry spreading operations when it’s dry so that they minimise the pollution risk and meet legal guidelines.

“Prevention is much better than cure, but some incidents still happen.”

Any accidental contamination should be reported immediately to Natural Resources Wales on 0800 807060. This will mean the organisation will be able to provide help and advice on how to prevent or reduce the impact of the incident rather than spending time trying to identify the source.