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Please refer to previous post London Underground – Ruislip Manor 2012

2nd April 2012The trial hearing took place yesterday 30th January 2013  –  10 months after my complaint to the court of 3rd April 2012.

I pointed out that S91 (6) of  Environmental Protection Act said that “If the magistrates court is satisfied that the … land in quesstion is defaced by litter or refuse…. the court may …. make an order … requiring the defendant to clear the litter or refuse…“. I said that I had brought photographs taken that morning showing it was so defaced.

London Underground argued that  the court could only issue an order for specific action as at the time of the complaint. It has, their Barrister said , to be a one-off action and not continuing because the penalty is (?penal?) for a one off  not to a particular standard. If the complainant is right he is able to create an offence for a (?person and land?). This court has no power to create legislation to make such an ongoing order.  ( This paragraph is based on the written notes of my good friend Daniel O’Neill).

After withdrawing to seek advice the Magistrates announced:

“We have looked at Sectio 91 of the Environmental Protection Act and consulted with our legal advisor who has consulted the Deputy Justices Clerk who has confirmed the advice that we have been given.

We are interpreting the complaint made to 3rd April.  An Abatement Notice can only relate to the specific date and legislation does not provide for the Litter Abatement Notice to continue indefinately. Therefore we will only be considering the position on 3rd April”

In other words the court could only make a Litter Abatement Order to remove the litter present on 3rd April 2012 – 10 months earlier!  As this was all long gone I was obliged to withdraw my complaint.

This left the matter of costs to be resolved

I presented several photo – exhibits to demonstrate the the land was defaced by litter  at the time of my complaint and that I had reasonable grounds for making it.  If these two conditions are established the court is obliged to award the complaint costs inder EPA S91 (12).  These included follows:

Exhibit 8 – showing a large blue plastic sheet had been in situ from 28th Feb to 3rd April
Exhibit 11 – showing  widespread littering on 2nd April 

Due to my own ineptitude I failed to draw the magistrates attention to  a  London Underground Fault Report dated 03/04/2012 requesting that Rentokil Initial be called in to clear rubbish off the embankment opposite the station.

In the end the Magistrates decided that the land was not defaced at the time of the complaint and my complaint had not been reasonable.  Consequently I was not awarded costs and was required to pay London Underground’s costs of £4,645.




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