Samantha Riggs, instructed by Helen Simm at Browne Jacobson LLP, has secured a not guilty verdict following a 5 week trial at the Old Bailey
A finance director was acquitted of operating a wood recycling facility without an environmental permit in breach of a T6 Exemption for wood treatment on the basis he did not consent / connive to the breach, nor was it attributable to his neglect Originally, the case was dismissed at Basildon Crown Court on the basis that the site was exempt from permitting and remained exempt until the Environment Agency deregistered the site, which was after the indictment period. Following an application by the Environment Agency for a voluntary bill of indictment, the High Court ruled that the site ceased to be exempt as soon as the exemption condition was breached i.e. at the beginning of the indictment period. As there was no route of appeal from this decision, the trial proceeded on this basis even though it was challenged by the directors. It remains to be seen whether the co-directors, who were found guilty, now appeal the High Court ruling to the Court of Appeal.