B1.17.1 Example Prosecutions


Below are some example cases where organisations and/or people have been prosecuted for environmental crimes. We have provided a brief overview of each case. If you would like to read further information, please click on the link next to each summary.

Please note that the News Section of the Envirotrain Website is regularly updated with relevant news stories, including prosecutions.


Jailed waste crime boss must pay back a record £917,000

An organised crime boss who was given the longest ever prison sentence for waste crime offences has been ordered to repay more than £917,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act – and warned he faces four and half years in jail if he doesn’t pay up.






Illegal waste operations result in £233,670 fine for Kent firms and director

Three waste firms from Kent and one director have been fined £233,670 after pleading guilty to charges related to the illegal deposit of waste on golf courses and farms in Kent and East Sussex.


Firm ordered to pay £10,000 after causing acid leak into a stream

The Environment Agency has prosecuted Streamline Environmental Services for causing hydrochloric acid to leak into a stream. The company had been contracted by Mitie Ltd to descale two of the boilers using powerful hydrochloric acid. The acid was poured into the boiler for two days and left overnight for the descaling to occur. On the third day the defendant discovered the surface area was flooded; and a leak was evident from the base of the boiler. A tank was then placed under the leak and the remaining fluid drained off. The surface area was then washed down without any neutralising material added and a pipe was put from the boiler into a drain which led to the outfall pipe into the River Quaggy.

The company  pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,321.72 as well as a victim surcharge of £15, totalling £10,336.72.


Thames Water ordered to pay more than £61,000 after serious sewage spill

Britain’s largest water company has been ordered to pay £61,049 after devastating the aquatic life in two rural brooks in Hampshire and Berkshire killing between 7,500 and 22,000 fish.

The Environment Agency’s hotline received numerous calls from local residents about a strong smell of sewage and grey-coloured water in the Silchester Brook. Environment officers attended the scene and were greeted with a strong stench of sewage and hundreds of dead or dying fish. It is estimated that between 7,500 and 22,000 high quality fish were killed including chub, brown trout, perch, pike, roach, tench, bullhead and loach, with many of the larger specimens being irreplaceable.

Environment Agency Officers dosed the river with hydrogen peroxide and deployed aeration equipment to maintain oxygen levels but the sewage continued to spread, affecting the total length of Silchester and Foudry brooks through Stratfield, Mortimer, Grazely, Three Mile Cross and Green Park in Reading.

Residents reported feeling depressed and upset at the state of the brook following the incident as the brooks are used widely by the local community for agriculture and recreation. Over the course of the incident 17 members of the public raised concern about the colour and smell of the brook, and the large number of dead or dying fish within it. A local farmer rescued around 100 fish including chub, brown trout, perch and minnows in a makeshift aquarium on his property.

Thames Water were fined £29,985, ordered to pay the Environment Agency’s costs of £31,049 and a £15 victim surcharge, a total of 61,049.





Bristol company fined for waste packaging offences

A company importing and distributing kitchen units and electrical accessories has been ordered to pay more than £18,000 in fines, costs and compensation for breaching waste packaging regulations.

Information provided by the company showed it had an annual turnover of up to £22.9 million and handled up to 164 tonnes of packaging a year. By failing to register it had saved £5,430.

Source: http://www.ciwm.co.uk




Concrete company fails to comply with packaging regulations

A Leicestershire concrete manufacturer was ordered to pay over £50,000 fines and costs for failing to register and recycle packaging waste. The company should have been registered with the Environment Agency or a compliance scheme since the year 2000 and was obliged to recover and recycle packaging waste, as well as filing a certificate at the end of each year to confirm it had met these obligations. However, the company did not register with a compliance scheme until 2010.

The company was fined £36,000, ordered to pay £5,712.55 in costs, £8,408 in compensation, and a £15 victim surcharge.