It would be fair to say that criminals are facing stricter punishments for their actions and if they fail to meet their financial requirements and expectations, there can be a great deal of trouble in store for people who refuse to do as they are instructed by the courts.
It used to be that facing charges for crimes was the last matter that a person had to deal with respect to their ordeal. The outcome of the trial or case could be difficult for them depending on the nature of the case and the outcome of the crime, but once it was concluded, people knew what they were dealing with and could then move forward with their life. This is now no longer the case with the Proceeds of Crime Act. Confiscation orders can see people lose out the financial benefit of their crimes and actions after they have been found guilty of an offence.
It is only right that People are Robbed of Financial Gain
There have been some complaints raised because people will say that this equates to people being tried twice but in reality, this isn’t the case. If someone has found to have benefited from crime, the additional element kicks in to determine how much they have benefited from their crime, and it is only fair that this should be confiscated. It used to people would be more than happy to serve out their punishment if they knew that there was money waiting for them at the end of their jail term but now thanks to POCA this isn’t the case. There are also repercussions associated with not paying any confiscation order so there is a strong level of punishment attached to the new process.
A man from Halifax has been sent to jail for twenty months because he failed to pay £78,000 in a confiscation order. This related to the financial benefit he obtained through carrying out illegal waste activities. David Turner was sentenced at the Magistrates Court in Leeds after he failed to pay the order which he was sentenced with in July of 2014.
Turner had been prosecuted for breaching environmental permitting regulations in the running of a waste transfer site he was responsible for at Farrar Mill. It transpired that he held too much waste on site, which was in breach of the environmental permit, which is a licence that is legally required. In time, the Environmental Agency revoked his licence, suspending the permit but this didn’t stop Turner from operating in the manner that he had been. He also ignored an order that told him to get rid of combustible waste from his site.
POCA cases are becoming a common Feature in Courts
This led to Turned being provided with a 12 month suspended prison sentence back in May of 2012. This took place at Bradford Crown Court and he was also instructed to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work. A further hearing in July of 2014, the POCA hearing, provided the £78,000 confiscation order when he was given 6 months to pay. Turner was informed that a failure to pay the amount would see him sent to jail for 20 months. However, since the order was made, Turner had only paid a sum of £2,400. When you take the accrued interest into account, Turner actually owes £78,757.15 so he hasn’t even managed to serve the interest on the order.
The Environmental Agency released a statement, saying; “Waste operations of this nature can potentially cause harm to the environment and local communities. That’s why it is vital that waste businesses manage their facilities in compliance with environmental permitting regulations. As a regulator of waste sites, the Environment Agency seeks to advise and give guidance to businesses to bring their operations in line with the rules. But when repeated or significant breaches are seen, enforcement action will be taken.”
Whether you are looking for a solicitor who can provide you with support and a robust defence at all points or just for the POCA case, there is a great deal to be said for calling on a solicitor with relevant experience. Choosing a solicitor who has an understanding of what is involved with confiscation order cases will help you to be fully prepared.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.