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Hendersons - Barristers' Chambers
News Environment 14th Feb 2019

Toby Riley-Smith QC and James Purnell have successfully defended the Bereleigh Shoot in a landmark private prosecution for statutory noise nuisance

Toby Riley-Smith QC and James Purnell have successfully defended the Bereleigh Shoot in a landmark private prosecution for statutory noise nuisance.

These criminal proceedings were brought by an aggrieved neighbour against the owner of the Bereleigh Estate and his son.  The prosecutor had sought an abatement order under the statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in relation to long-established game shooting at the highly-regarded shoot in Hampshire.  He had asked the Court to criminalise this rural activity.

After a hard-fought trial that occupied over four full weeks of Court time, and during which the Judge heard from four experts and numerous lay witnesses, this private prosecution was dismissed.  The Court accepted that the complainant’s property was affected infrequently, was in a locality in which such shooting was a part of the everyday tapestry of life, and was in a community in which it was much valued.  It did not need to rule on the additional prescription defence.

It is understood that this is the first time that this legislation has been used to prosecute a game shoot.

Toby and James were instructed on behalf of the defendants by Charles Arrand and Joanne Sear of Shoosmiths.

Henderson Chambers continues to be a leading set for Environmental Law in the legal directories.

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