Anglers still angry at contest cheat

ANGLERS are still angry with the man who tried to con them by stealing a bass from the Aquarium and entering it into a competition, its organiser has said.

Aquarium owner Dave Miller said he has tightened security since Matthew Clark stole a bass and said it had been part of a tough year for the business. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1294733)
Aquarium owner Dave Miller said he has tightened security since Matthew Clark stole a bass and said it had been part of a tough year for the business. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1294733)

ANGLERS are still angry with the man who tried to con them by stealing a bass from the Aquarium and entering it into a competition, its organiser has said.

Bailiwick Bass Club president Daryl Butcher recalled how he had been dumbfounded by the actions of Matthew Clark, 30, who was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and two years on probation for fraud and burglary offences.

‘Anyone who’s ever planned an event will know that months and months of hard work went into organising the competition,’ said Mr Butcher, who said he had received more than 100 calls from national papers and well-wishers in the two days following the fraud.

‘This is the first time that anything like this has happened to our club.’

He added that there was still a lot of anger among club members.

Comments for: "Anglers still angry at contest cheat"


He did wrong ,got caught and has faced the public .

He has been finded and will do his community service .

It led to a lot of publicity all over the world.

This would have cost us thousands to do on our own.

I hope once he has done his service he will be left alone.

It was wrong but it did make many smile and led to a lot of jokes,

Yes there are some angry fishermen around

I am sure he has learnt his lesson.


I agree Kat, a good summary. Justice served, get over it for goodness sake!


Following my first comment in hindsight I can understand Dave Miller being upset about this as he was personally violated (by having his business broken into and burgled) but I really don't understand the continuing anger amongst the other anglers.

Yes be angry for a short time but still? I'm genuinely interested to know what exactly they are angry about? As Kat has said, he has got 2 years probation, 100 hours community service. Outside the short term consequences he has also picked up a record for burglary and fraud that will keep him out of a lot of careers for a considerable period of time, if not indefinitely. He's probably lost the respect and trust of friends and relatives, not to mention the club he was a member of. It will take him years (if ever) to regain that. How much more punishment do people think he should get for this offence? Public flogging?

I worked for a couple of years as chairman of a charity that promoted restorative justice among prisoners and unfortunately I see this is as symptomatic of a wider issue in Guernsey that is seen all too often on these pages. We really need to stop kicking people when they're down, justice should be served but that should be enough. If we continue to kick people they will become resentful and potentially descend into more criminal activity.


Its peoples being soft that make idiots think they can get away with things like this and he practically has with feeble community service.

How would you feel if he'd broken in to your house and stole from you, then to try and get off the hook he tells the police you let him do it and your a liar? Would you be happy that someone who broke in to your house, stole, lied and committed fraud only got community service? You could get locked up for each one of those, he managed all in one instance.

This is why the people involved in the comp are annoyed because He's made the Bass club, Guernsey and its legal system a laughing stock. Phillip Robey is saying that breaking and entering, theft, fraud and lying to pervert the course of justice are only deserving of community service, so fill yer boots.



Maybe its not about him but about them?

I agree with everything that has been said about the lad but these men take this competition seriously, they are highly skilled and dedicated to the art. They go to a lot of effort to prepare for and to enter the competition.

It has been ruined for them, the culprit stole a moment of glory and celebration which can't be replaced. I think this article is just saying that the owner of the stolen bass was not the only victim.



I stand by my comments on restorative justice and irrespective of what people think about the sentence I'm certain Clark will suffer ongoing humiliation well beyond his judicial punishment. Nevertheless as you say it was thoughtless to ignore the effect on the club organisers and members. Unfortunately I admit this was one if those times I commented before engaging my brain.



Totally agree about restorative justice. Keep up the good work sir.


...the other victim being the bass.


Mass perpetrators of bass murder?


Sparty - I'm no longer involved with the particular charity but I'm glad to say it's now in the hands of some very capable people.



In that case just keep up the good work with the things you say!


Perhaps they are still angry as they feel all their hard work was ruined by this guy?


Their work is no more ruined than if he'd won the contest legitimately, though.

The person in second place has the satisfaction of knowing he's the real winner. If that's not enough, he's just a bad loser.


Having re-read the article some of my comments were rather thoughtless. I apologise.

Island Wide Voting

What happened to the £800 prize?

Was it awarded to the second placed 'catch' or cancelled altogether?


What would have cost us thousands to do on our own? Advertise Guernsey as a breeding ground for jobless thieves?

It made people smile and shake their head in disbelief at the absolute stupidity. Laughing at him not with him.



I fully concur with you on your idea of restorative justice- continued bitterness and resentment merely exacerbates existng hardships. Your sentiments could be applied to any case wherein continued ill feelings are augmenting an already unfavourable situation.

Is retributive justice or poetic justice - if the ironically appropriate penalty causes harm- ever, from a moral persepective, justifiable ?


Ed - one aspect of restorative justice is when perputrators meet victims. Perhaps in this case (if they were willing and obviously in controlled conditions) Clark could meet the organisers of the Bass Club who could explain how they felt about what he did?


I'd like to know ... when does a fish caught at sea become the legal property of any individual? Is it simply a case of finders keepers?


Yes, its finders kippers.


The kipper is the most dangerous fish in the sea ….. especially Jack the Kipper!!

Island Wide voting

That's why I never go near a fruit bowl.Kippers always come in pears


Kippers! Cor blimey, I nearly fell off my char laughing!

North of Alderney

Bring back public boiling!1

And if the bloke found guilty is skinny enough, there might just be room enough in the pot to cook up a couple of fish !