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Judith Constable

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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 and has prosecuted as agent for Cornwall Council, Forestry Commission and the Fire Service.

Judith has a thorough knowledge of environmental law and sentencing, having prosecuted and advised on a very wide range of regulatory offences 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
  •  

    Judith joined Devon Chambers in 2018 and her practice has developed and grown significantly, she continues to recieve instructions from the Environment Agency and Local Authorities.  Judith is a Cat 2 Prosecutor.

    Instructing solicitors have praised Judith for her calm and pragmatic approach, this has proved to be particularly effective in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses, cases that are sensitive and those that involve unusual or specialist law.

    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)