Council spends £15k taking store owner to court over a cardboard box
The local authority took Linda Bracey of 'ElectroSigns' to court after one of the boxes, bearing the company's name was found among other rubbish on a fly-tipping site.
Following a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Mrs Bracey's company was acquitted of breaching environmental protection laws as the case was branded a "monumental waste of public time and money" by Judge Alex Milne QC.
He called for "common sense" and said to the jury; "were the cardboard boxes in question waste?
"If a company chooses to keep and re-use boxes, they remain the property of the company and an asset. If the company keeps boxes for its own use but then chooses to give or sell boxes to another party that is not discarding them."
Following the hearing Mrs Bracey, a mother of three, said; "it is a ridiculous situation, because not only are the council, as the judge said, wasting taxpayers' money, but also preventing the re-using of a cardboard box, since the company that gives a person a box could be facing prosecution. The world's gone mad.
"The ironic thing is that the council brought the action against us under the Environmental Protection Act. The council had ample opportunity over many, many court hearings to stop this. It didn't have to go this far."