John Wyn Williams praised by judge in Environment Agency Prosecution
December 4, 2014
John Wyn Williams appeared on behalf of Barry Patchett of B J Patchett(Demo) Ltd in proceedings brought by the Environment Agency in Lincoln Magistrates Court. He eventually pleaded guilty to operating a waste operation without being authorised by an Environmental Permit at Tetney Lock in Lincolnshire involving 9,000 tonnes of controlled waste. District Judge Stobart commended John Wyn Williams on the advice he had given his lay client and stated that he had been “persuaded” by John to look at the case in a different light. His client was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay the costs in a case described by the Agency in a previous hearing as “deliberate” flouting of the regulations.
The district judge accepted John Wyn Williams’ submissions that his client had been negligent rather than deliberate in breaching regulations under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
On a previous occasion the Environment Agency had stated that the case had a starting point of 12 months custody according to new Guidelines introduced this year.
John Wyn Williams pointed out that in the transitional provisions under the regulations an old exemption registered by his client was extant for much of the time alleged in the summons. Following discussions with Prosecuting Counsel for the Agency it was accepted that the relevant date was the later date which allowed John to place the offence in a lower bracket within the guidelines.
After the hearing Mr Patchett was relieved that the Court accepted John submissions and did not impose a custodial sentence.
Commenting on the case John Wyn Williams said this case shows how early advice in complex regulatory offences can help the client. He added: ”Even the Agency got it wrong this time.”
John Wyn Williams was instructed by Patrick J Taylor Solicitor of Horncastle and London.