Case sets standards for sentencing

An English Court of Appeal case has set out useful guidance as to the factors that should be taken into account when sentencing for environmental offences.

Relevant factors include how far below the appropriate standard the defendant's conduct was, whether a deliberate breach was committed in order to cut costs, the degree of risk and extent of danger created by the offence, as well as the extent of the breach.

The Court stated that factors that would tend to aggravate an offence include ignoring warnings, and deliberate breach with a view to saving money.

Mitigating factors would include prompt admission and plea of guilty, a good safety record and taking steps to remedy the breach.

The case also made clear that the financial means of the defender should be taken into account in addition to the gravity of the offence when deciding upon an appropriate fine.

The case can be accessed at the following link.

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