In continuance of his series examining the Environment Agency (EA), John Veale of Kangs Solicitors examines further factors that may attach to the sentencing process.
Compensation | Kangs Environment Agency Solicitors
The Court’s first consideration will be the payment of compensation by the offender, whether an individual, company or other organization, to anyone who has suffered loss or personal injury.
The level of compensation payable is frequently extremely substantial given the extent and level of damage that could be inflicted such as, for example the pollution of a water supply resulting in people falling ill and even being hospitalized as a result.
The Court will give priority to the payment of compensation over payment of all other financial penalties, including fines, which it may also impose.
Confiscation | Kangs Confiscation Lawyers
If the Prosecution seeks confiscation or the court thinks it appropriate, of its own volition, then the benefit derived from the crime that has been committed will be assessed and assets taken away from the offender to remove any benefit that may have resulted.
If the consideration of confiscation arises in the Magistrates Court, the matter will be submitted to the Crown Court as only that Court has jurisdiction to deal with confiscation proceedings.
Financial benefit arising from waste management crime can be enormous when, for example, waste that should be deposited in a landfill site is illegally dumped or buried in an unpermitted site thereby, potentially, saving millions of pounds.
As with compensation, referred to above, the issue of confiscation must be dealt with before consideration of the imposition of any fine or other financial order.
Forfeiture of Vehicles | Kangs Crime Team
In respect of both individuals and organizations convicted of an offence it is open to the Court, under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA), to order the forfeiture of any vehicle(s) used in or for the purposes of the commission of that offence.
Deprivation of Property
Alternatively to the above, if section 33 of the EPA is not appropriate, the Court can, under section 143 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, order that an offender be deprived of property used in the commission of an offence or intended for use in the commission of an offence,
Remediation | Kangs Environmental Solicitors
If convicted of an offence under regulation 38 (1), (2) or (3) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010, the Court can order the offender to take action to remedy the effects of the offence.
For example the offender may be required to clear a site up and render it acceptable to the requirements of the EA and relevant local authority.
Clearly, if, for example, this involves the removal of large amounts of buried or hazardous waste, this will entail further vast expense in addition to whatever other financial penalties have been imposed.
The Court has the power to specify the time period in which the remediation is to take place.
Disqualification as a Director | Kangs Director Disqualification Solicitors
If an individual continues to be involved in the direction or control of a company after being disqualified, further criminal sanctions will be applied.
Disqualification from Driving | Kangs Motoring Offence Solicitors
Under section 147 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, the Court may disqualify anyone from driving where a vehicle has been used in the commission of any offence, which includes any environmental offence.
How can we help you? | Kangs Solicitors
At Kangs Solicitors, we have a wealth of experience in dealing with EA investigations and prosecutions.
We are able to assist you by:
- Formulating a reply to any notices served by the EA
- Dealing with any general enquiries from the EA
- Advising you on the regulatory regime and requirements that governs your business
- Advising you on the steps to take to ensure that your business is compliant with the EPR
- Representing you at any interviews with EA officers.
- Defending any prosecution brought by the EA for any regulatory breaches.
We have a proven track record in dealing with the above matters and we welcome you contacting our team of solicitors through either of the following, who will be happy to discuss your situation with you.