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Judith Constable

Email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Core Practice Area: Crime, Regulatory Crime
Call:  2012 (solicitor 2000)
Inn:
Grays Inn
Education: Exeter University

Membership: Western Circuit, United Kingdom Environmental Law Association

 

 

 

 

Judith has almost thirty years experience as a regulatory prosecutor, for the Environment Agency, Torbay Council (Unitary Authority) and Devon County Council. She prosecuted as agent for Cornwall Council, Forestry Commission and the Fire Service.

She has a thorough knowledge of environmental law and sentencing, having prosecuted and advised on a very wide range of regulatory offences for the Environment Agency since 2000, including:

Waste

  • breaches of environmental permists from very large landfill sites, to small waste transfer stations or end life vehicle sites
  • burning, burying and other unlawful disposal of waste
  • offences relating to exemptions
  • hazardous waste
  • fly tipping
  • notices

Water

  • Offences committed by water utility companies
  • farm pollution and compliance
  • pollution and/or permit breaches arising from holiday parks and other business sites
  • fish kills and other ecological harm
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    Judith joined chambers on 1 March 2018, with over 25 years’ experience as a regulatory prosecutor and having undertaken a secondment to CPS as a trial advocate. Since then, her practice has included a significant amount of regulatory work for the Environment Agency and Local Authorities and she appears regularly in the Crown Courts in Plymouth, Truro and Exeter in a range of Category 2 cases.

    Judith has a calm and pragmatic approach, which is particularly effective in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses, cases that are sensitive and those that involve unusual or specialist law.

    She has a thorough knowledge of environmental law and sentencing. She was employed by the Environment Agency from 2000 – 2018 and prosecuted and advised on a very wide range of regulatory offences , including:

    • Waste:
      • breaches of environmental permits from very large landfill sites, to small waste transfer stations or end of life vehicle sites
      • burning, burying and other unlawful disposal of waste
      • hazardous waste
      • fly tipping
      • notices
    • Water
      • Offences committed by water utility companies
      • farm pollution and compliance
      • pollution and/or permit breaches arising from holiday parks and other business sites
      • fish kills and other ecological harm

    Judith’s work is marked by its clarity and depth of understanding. Before joining chambers, Judith proved herself an effective and tenacious lawyer and advocate, having regularly conducted cases against Level 4 prosecutors, silks and specialist regulatory lawyers. She has dealt with highly technical and specialist areas, and is able to reduce them into clear and succinct advice and advocacy, both written and spoken.

    She is patient and pragmatic and focused on what the client wants to achieve in a particular case. She has used a variety of sentencing tools in regulatory cases to achieve long term environmental improvements such as site remediation or permit variations. Achieving this has sometimes involving a process of negotiations after pleas have been entered. She has written influential advice for officers, managers and lawyers.

    Prior to joining the Environment Agency, Judith prosecuted for Trading Standards, Environmental Health and others whilst employed by Devon County Council and Torbay Council. She undertook a 6 month secondment to CPS in 2015/16 as a trial advocate in the Magistrates Court.

    Throughout her career, Judith has written and delivered training and guidance on all aspects of regulatory work, to officers and lawyers; most particularly this was in relation to disclosure and use of expert evidence.

    Judith is willing to travel and has appeared in cases across the South West to Bristol and Dorset.

    Judith’s recent or notable cases include:

    Environment Agency -v- C - flytipping trial in Exeter Crown Court (2018)

    R -v- B – burglary trial in Plymouth Crown Court, involving the difficulties of trying a defendant in his absence. (2018)

    R -v- B – burglary trial in Plymouth Crown Court involving a vulnerable victim (2018)

    Plymouth City Council -v- S – health and safety trial in Plymouth Crown Court (2018)

    Environment Agency -v- Glebe Quarry Ltd – case involving significant remediation of a waste site containing asbestos, this involved detailed negotiations involving experts and a complex Regulation 44 order, Truro Crown Court (2018)

    R -v- South West Water Ltd - various cases (most recent in 2018) involving water pollution and permit breaches in Plymouth, Truro and Exeter Crown Courts, and before the District Judge in various Magistrates Court. The most notable was in Plymouth Crown Court - this case resulted in a (then) record fine for this company and substantial agreed remediation work.

    R v WR – farm pollution, Exeter Crown Court (2017)

    R v TS – breach of permit at end of life car site, civil proceedings for breach of subsequent Regulation 44 order in the Magistrates Court (2017)

    R v Imerys Minerals Ltd – water pollution, led junior in Truro Crown Court in a case that involved substantial expert evidence (2017)

    R v Suez Ltd – permit breaches and odour arising from large landfill site - led junior in Truro Crown Court (2017)

    R v SB and others – led junior in waste and water case involving ten defendants and POCA in Truro Crown Court (2014)

    R v Trago Mills Ltd – various waste offences – Torbay Magistrates Court (2011) and Exeter Crown Court (2012)