Thames Water Utilities Ltd v Bromley Magistrates’ Court: Admn 20 Mar 2013

Sewage had escaped from the company’s facilities. They now sought judicial review of their conviction under the 1990 Act, saying there had been no ‘deposit’ of sewage.
Held: The request for review failed: ‘the answer to the question whether the unintended escape of sewage amounted to a ‘deposit’ within s.33(1)(a) of the Act, is not to be found in dictionary definitions. However, when construed in the context both of sub-section (1)(a) and s.33 as a whole, the preponderance of the argument favours and clearly so, the word ‘deposit’ including unintended escapes. The contrary argument, that this construction results in an unsatisfactory overlap with s.34 of the Act, falls to the ground because s.34 is inapplicable in such circumstances. Conscious though I am that s.33 gives rise to a penal provision, I am satisfied that the usual and strong presumption of a mens rea is here displaced.’
Gross LJ, Singh J
[2013] EWHC 472 (Admin)
Bailii
Environmental Protection Act 1990 33(1)(a)
Citing:
CitedShanks and Mcewan (Southern Waste Services) Ltd v Environment Agency Admn 14-Oct-1997
Mance J explained the need to construe the statute so as to identify the rule of attribution appropriate to the relevant statutory offence: ‘The rule of attribution appropriate to a particular situation (e.g., the nature and level of conduct or . .
CitedMilton Keynes District Council v Fuller and Another Admn 23-Jun-2011
The magistrates had concluded that the movement of waste, previously tipped by others in the entrance to the Respondents’ field, did not amount to a ‘deposit’, within s.33(1)(a) of the 1990 Act. The Council appealed against dismissal of it . .
CitedRegina (Thames Water Utilities) v The South East London Division, Bromley Magistrates’ Court ECJ 8-Feb-2007
ECJ Reference for a preliminary ruling from the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division (Administrative Court) – Treatment of waste water Directive 75/442 Directive 91/271 Waste Concept . .
CitedGateway Professional Services (Management) Ltd v Kingston Upon Hull City Council Admn 8-Mar-2004
An employee of the appellant had deposited a number of black bags containing commercial office waste on the land adjoining the appellant’s own premises. The prosecutor said that the deposit of the bags of waste in those circumstances amounted to an . .
CitedScott and Another v Westminster City Council CA 20-Mar-1995
A vendor’s ‘hot chestnut’ stall was an ‘item deposited on highway’ and could be removed by the Council under the 1980 Act. Waite LJ said: ‘The verb ‘to deposit’ is a term of wide connotation, apt to describe any state of affairs in which one object . .
CitedRemet Co Ltd v Newham London Borough Council QBD 1981
The defendants, when loading non-ferrous metal swarf on to lorries standing on the highway, from time to time miscalculated the available space in a lorry being loaded, and some of the swarf accidentally fell on to the road. In respect of three such . .
CitedGammon (Hong Kong) Ltd v A-G of Hong Kong PC 1984
Lord Scarman expressed the purpose of imposing strict liability within criminal law: ‘In their Lordships’ opinion, the law relevant to this appeal may be stated in the following propositions . . : (1) there is a presumption of law that mens rea is . .
CitedSweet v Parsley HL 23-Jan-1969
Mens Rea essential element of statutory Offence
The appellant had been convicted under the Act 1965 of having been concerned in the management of premises used for smoking cannabis. This was a farmhouse which she visited infrequently. The prosecutor had conceded that she was unaware that the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 May 2021; Ref: scu.471921