A Crown Court judge has formally discontinued the case of a farmer who died two days after pleading guilty to allowing illegal dumping on his land.


Former Devon NFU leader Richard Haddock had been due to return to Exeter Crown Court for sentence but the case file was closed by Judge Robert Linford after his death was confirmed.


The Judge said that the Plymouth coroner’s office had confirmed that Mr Haddock had died on Sunday June 25. The judge announced that the proceedings were now ‘of no legal effect’.


Judge Linford passed on the court’s condolences to Mr Haddock’s family.


Mr Haddock, aged 66, who farmed land between Kingswear and Brixham and ran a farm shop at Churston, pleaded guilty to six environmental offences exactly a week ago.


He admitted five counts of failing to comply with or contravening Environment Agency permits ay Churston Court Farm  between 2010 and August 2020 and one of operating a regulated waste activity not in accordance with a permit.


The charges specified that he imported waste onto his land that did not have the chemical, geotechnical or biological characteristics which were set out in his permits from the Environment Agency.


Mr Haddock was one of Britain’s most high-profile farm leaders in the 2000s and 2010s and stood for the chairmanship of the NFU in 2000 before withdrawing his candidacy.


He served as the chairman of the NFU’s Livestock Committee in 2003 and led calls for Britain to retaliate against bans of meat imports by European Union nations during the BSE and Foot and Mouth crises.


Haddock farms land between Brixham and Kingswear, near Dartmouth, and is alleged to have committed the regulatory offences between 2008 and 2020.


He was also a former councillor and both NFU and council leader paid tribute to him after his death.