03/03/16

Environment Agency Prosecution & Confiscation Proceedings

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Kangs Solicitors represented SB a director of a well- established waste management company in the West Midlands. In order to expand his interests SB in partnership with his co-defendant acquired a quarry that had an existing waste transfer station together with several other rent paying businesses. SB again with his business partner before considering the purchase had acquired another waste management company that would be able to run the transfer station on the quarry. SB was thus a director of the company that ran the waste transfer station at the quarry and a director of the company that owned the quarry.

The permit on the site was transferred accordingly; this permit did not allow for the disposal of waste at the quarry, but allowed the processing of waste to remove the recyclables. Anything left would have to be tipped in landfill on a site authorised for this purpose.

The Environment Agency received a tip-off that waste was being buried at the quarry site so they began to monitor the site. It was the Environment Agency’s case that over the indictment period of two years, 66,000 tonnes of waste was illegally tipped at the quarry.

After negotiations SB pleaded guilty on a limited basis, but only to minor breaches of the permit rather than to the more serious charges on the indictment. The Environment Agency buylasix.net would not agree the basis so the matter was listed for trial of fact. After three days of the hearing during which the Environment Agency sought to show that 66,000 tonnes had been illegally dumped at the site, the Court determined that the Environment Agency had not proved their case. Furthermore it did not appear to be a case whereby the defendants had benefited and any breaches were down to poor management rather than trying to make a gain.

After the Court ruling the Environment Agency were no longer in a position to pursue confiscation. They had calculated a benefit figure for SB of over £4 million. Had the confiscation gone ahead it would have been the largest ever attempted by the Environment Agency. The Agency had been seeking £107,000 in costs of which they recouped from the defendants the sum of £30,000.

The case was conducted by Hamraj Kang and John Veale of Kangs Solicitors. Counsel instructed on behalf of our client was John Jones QC and Robert Morris.

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