Director forced to pay £69,000 in fines and fees
A company director has been forced to pay out £69,000 in fines and fees after his company was caught illegally dumping toxic silt in a conservation area in Falmouth.
Peter Frampton was found guilty by a jury at Truro Crown Court of breach of duty to supervise and connivance leading to the depositing of material at sea without a licence. He was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £44,150 in costs plus a £15 victim surcharge. His former company Oil and Water Ltd must pay a nominal fine of £100 as it has already gone into administration.
Employees from Oil and Water Ltd were captured on video dumping the material in a Special Area of Conservation by the Marine and Fisheries Agency in December 2007.
The waste management company had been contracted to demolish Kings Wharf in Falmouth and remove the silt to a minimum of five metres below the lowest tide. During the course of the trial the court was shown videos of diggers lifting the toxic silt to just below the water surface, before rotating 90 degrees and unlawfully releasing the toxic sediment, creating a very large sediment cloud.
Daniel Poulding, from the Marine Management Organisation, commented: “This was a particularly important case as the toxic sediment concerned is some of the most damaging found anywhere within the British Isles. The method used to deposit it, as well as being unlicensed, was also the worst possible for marine life and was deposited in an environmentally sensitive area.”
“Mr Frampton admitted to us that he knew his company was moving this contaminated material, yet he continued to allow it to happen.”
His Honour Judge Clark QC the case “revealed a public scandal that should be of great concern” and that the company would have got away with it if it wasn’t for the “astute vigilance of Mr Daniel Poulding”.