Following a multi-agency investigation involving the local authority, the Environment Agency and the Police, into a variety of issues, including waste management and disposal, scrap car and motor salvage and various statutory nuisances, including smoke and fumes being emitted from premises and premises in a state prejudicial to health, the local authority took up the mantle of enforcement.
MS was the owner of the industrial site in question. MS was issued with an abatement notice, prohibiting burning at the site.
MS was charged with breach of the abatement notice, in circumstances where it was alleged that regular and repeated burning had been identified at the site.
Having been convicted at first instance, MS sought to appeal the conviction. Richard Dawson was instructed to act in the appeal.
Amongst a variety of errors by the local authority, including a failure to seek the permission of the Secretary of State before commencing the prosecution, following a careful analysis of the statutory regime, Richard identified that the nuisance that gave rise to the issuing of the abatement notice did not constitute a “statutory nuisance” for the purposes of the legislation. The local authority had improperly issued the notice and proceedings for breach of the same were without merit.
The local authority indicated that they would not oppose the appeal. The conviction for breach was quashed, together with the substantial financial penalty which had been imposed at first instance.
Richard’s intervention shortly before the appeal was due to be heard brought to a swift conclusion these drawn out and delayed proceedings, which had caused anguish and upset for MS for nearly four years.
Richard Dawson is an expert trial lawyer, specialising in environmental law and defending corporate and individual defendants facing environmental crime and regulatory investigation and prosecution.
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