John represented a woman (HA) who was being prosecuted by a local authority. HA had pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching a planning enforcement notice contrary to section 179(2) Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The allegation related to an outbuilding which the local authority said had been rented out for a number of years. The local authority commenced confiscation proceedings to recover a benefit of £23,000. A second charge related to an unauthorised extension to the family home.
John was instructed the day before the final hearing. He made representations to the prosecution on the facts and on the principles raised in the cases of Waya and Sale. Following those representations John successfully negotiated an agreed benefit figure of just £9,750 (less than half the amount originally sought).
John mitigated at length on sentence, and HA was sentenced to a fine of £750 for each charge. The prosecution had sought to recover costs totaling over £4000 but following John's submissions no costs were imposed.
John accepts instructions in confiscation matters. He has defended in confiscation hearings in the Crown Court and enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court. John is experienced in defending and prosecuting cases involving Local Authorities. He has experience of a wide range of criminal offences brought by Local Authorities following a lengthy secondment to Local Authority criminal team.