The imposition of a fine of ?4,000 on the claimant council for statutory nuisance where the maximum available fine was £5,000, was on the facts outside the broad area of the Crown Court's sentencing discretion.Application for judicial review of the decision of Inner London Crown Court on 13 September 2002 to impose a fine of £4,000 on the claimant council ('C') for a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in respect of a flat of which C was the landlord. The flat was affected by damp and despite numerous complaints by the tenants ('T') and the submission of an environmental report C did nothing. As a result T served notices under s.82 of the Act for the nuisance to be remedied. It was not complied with and the Magistrates Court subsequently imposed a fine of £4,000, which fine was upheld by the Crown Court. On this application C argued that: (i) it had pleaded guilty; (ii) it had agreed to carry out the necessary works and had substantially carried out those works; and therefore (iii) given that the maximum fine available was £5,000, a fine of £4,000 was outside the broad area of the Crown Court's sentencing discretion.HELD: (1) Whilst the offence in question was serious there was a wide range of nuisances that were required to be censured by the imposition of a fine up to a maximum of £5,000. There were offences that could be much worse. (2) In those circumstances and given the mitigating circumstances, a fine of £4,000 was clearly outside the broad area of the Crown Court's sentencing discretion. (3) Accordingly, the court would intervene to quash the decision and remit the matter back to the Crown Court for reconsideration.Application allowed.
 EWHC 2500 (Admin)