Successful Result | Food Safety & Hygiene
Kangs Solicitors have successfully represented a client, and his company, in respect of a prosecution by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, for offences contrary to Regulation 19 Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
Suki Randhawa reports.
The Environmental Health Investigation
Environmental Health Officers from the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham attended our client’s company premises on the 28th September 2016, having received complaints regarding cockroach and mice activity, when they discovered:
- A live adult German cockroach
- Mouse droppings
- A glue board with a dead mouse
- A further glue board with a decomposing mouse
- Looped electrical wiring
- Staff not wearing protective clothing
- Dirty and mouldy chopping boards
- Dirty and broken utensils
- Very greasy conditions around the cooking area.
The Health Officers concluded that there was a health risk and, accordingly, our client closed his business on a voluntary agreement.
Our client then attended for an interview, without legal representation, and made various admissions.
He was then charged in his own name with two offences, and the company was charged with two offences.
Defence Preparation and Considerations
During the course of defence preparation, Kangs Solicitors:
- obtained and examined in detail the case papers,
- discussed with our client the position at length,
- took full and detailed instructions
- discussed the position with the Council to ascertain whether, if the company pleaded guilty, having regard to the admissions already made at interview, the prosecution against our client personally could be dropped which was important as our client, who was a man of previous good character, was at risk of losing that standing.
- prepared evidence to show that numerous improvements had been made at the company’s premises, our client and staff had attended courses and procedures were now in place to ensure that these offences could not occur again.
- collated and provided a bundle of documents to both the Judge and the Council evidencing the vast improvements that had been accomplished.
The Court Hearing
Following discussions with the Council at length, they were persuaded to withdraw proceedings against our client in view of the vast improvements that had taken place.
The company pleaded guilty to both charges.
The Successful Outcome
Although the District Judge had indicated that she felt that the starting point was a fine of £12,000 for each offence, having considered all of the mitigation put forward by Kangs Solicitors, she imposed a single financial penalty of £4,000 for one offence.
Our client was naturally overjoyed and ecstatic with the outcome and expressed his gratitude to Kangs Solicitors for the way that his defence had been meticulously prepared and that he would certainly be recommending the services of Kangs Solicitors in the future.
How Can Kangs Solicitors Help? | Kangs Environmental Health Solicitors
It is important that any business or individual facing any situation which may result in criminal implications seeks expert legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that the welfare of those concerned can be protected as far as possible.
If you have similar issues and would appreciate some early, expert and robust advice please do not hesitate to contact the team who will be happy to guide you.