Three directors have been sentenced after “appalling” failures at a now liquidated waste management company, which exposed the public and environment to the harmful affects of Asbestos.

After being summoned to Stoke on Trent court, the jury heard how George Talbot and his sons, Anthony and Stephen were well aware of the dangers and hazards associated with Asbestos, yet ignored repeated warnings from the authorities to rectify the problems.

Following a joint, two-year investigation into their working practices by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency, George and his sons were prosecuted and George was disqualified as a director for a period of seven years and was given a total fine of £46,500 after pleading guilty to breaching the following:

  • Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Sentenced to a fine of £7,500
  • Regulations 12(1)(a) and 38(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Sentenced to a fine of £12,000.
  • Sections 33(1)(c), 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on or before 27 June 2011. Sentenced to a fine of £ 7,500.
  • Sections 33(1)(c), 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on or before 8 February 2013. Sentenced to a fine of £12,000
  • Regulations 12(1), 38(1)(a) and 41(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Sentenced to a fine of £7,500.

Anthony Thomas Talbot of Rode Heath, Stoke on Trent, was disqualified as a director for a period of four years and was given a total fine of £4,800 after pleaded guilty to breaching:

  • Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. — Sentenced to a fine of £1,200
  • Sections 33(1)(c) 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on or before 27 June 2011. Sentenced to a fine of £1,200
  • Sections 33(1)(c), 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on or before 8 February 2013. Sentenced to a fine of £1,200
  • Regulations 12(1), 38(1)(a) and 41(1)(a) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Sentenced to a fine of £1,200.

Stephen John Talbot of Sandbach Road North was given a total sentence of £6,000 after pleaded guilty to breaching:

  • Sections 33(1)(c) 33(6) and 157(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on or before 27 June 2011. Sentenced to a fine of £3,000.
  • Regulations 12(1), 38(1)(a) and 41(1)(b) of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Sentenced to a fine of £3,000.

So in total, the defendants were ordered to repay costs of £200,000 in total.

HSE inspector David Brassington shas been quoted stating the following after the hearing: “This was an appalling breach of a prohibition notice which potentially exposed workers to asbestos. Companies should know HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement against those who flout the law.”

Following the hearing there was no evidence to suggest that the environment or neighbouring businesses have been harmed by the actions at the three sites.

The judge in charge of the hearing stated: “It is clear that the company, far from responding to earlier warnings about their handling of asbestos, continued to create risks and deliberately disregard a prohibition notice.”

The Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation stated: “This successful prosecution demonstrates how the Environment Agency works in partnership with other enforcers like the HSE, to tackle serious waste crime and failures to comply with regulations.

“We’re determined to tackle those who flout the law. Illegal waste and those behind waste crime diverts as much as £1billion very year from legitimate businesses and the treasury. As the Environment Agency we do everything we can investigate these crimes and prosecute those we believe responsible.”

“Waste crime is a serious offence; in this case we’ve seen a continuous disregard for the laws and regulations around managing asbestos waste.”

Give yourself greater peace of mind by calling Salvum on 0343 886 5999 about our asbestos surveys in London or elsewhere in the UK.

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