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Light touch on crime

Thursday, July 8 2004

A series of prosecutions for meat crimes over the past two years have collapsed on legal technicalities or have attracted light sentences.

  • The defendant associated with Operation Lobster Pot, in which 34 tonnes of decomposing meat were seized in an unlicensed, rat-infested warehouse walked free when the case was dropped by Tower Hamlets LBC. Evidence which was to be used in court was accidentally destroyed (EHN, 14 May, page 1).
  • Carmello Gale, Colin Patterson of Ffostrasl and Peter Maguigan of Pontshaen were cleared of charges of conspiracy to supply unfit meat when a prosecution brought by Ceredigion Council ran out of time (EHN, 13 February, page 1).
  • Smugglers bringing large quantities of meat through Heathrow and Gatwick airports were fined just £300 and £150, respectively (EHN, 16 April, page 2).
  • A Hertfordshire poultry farmer who made £2,000 a week from a filthy illegal abattoir,
    described by an EHO as “the worst he had ever seen” and who boasted on a BBC Crooked Britain documentary how easy it is to evade controls, was fined just £4,750 (EHN, 26 March, page 3).
  • Two Carmarthenshire men running a large-scale smokie production plant jointly received fines and costs of £2,500. Carcasses seized on the raid had a retail value of £15,000 (EHN, 22 August 2003, page 6).
  • Eight men who were caught red-handed producing smokies in Lampeter, by EHOs from Ceredigion Council, merely received community service orders (EHN, 1 November 2002, page 2).