Louise Humphreys has continued to act for Chiltern District Council (CDC) in the criminal proceedings relating to the failure by Lombard Hotels Ltd and Asrar Ahmed to comply with an enforcement notice. Details of the prosecution and the facts can be found here
Asrar Ahmed was sentenced today (18 January 2019) at Aylesbury Crown Court by the Honourable Recorder for Aylesbury and ordered to pay a fine of £21,170 (including victim surcharge). In addition a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) was made in the sum of £17,000. Mr Ahmed was also ordered to pay CDC’s costs in bringing the proceedings in the sum of £23,293.04.
No separate penalty was given against Lombard Hotels Limited of whom Mr Ahmed was the sole Director and Company Secretary.
It is understood that the breach of planning control has now been resolved and that the site operatives are operating in accordance with their planning permission.
The First-tier Tribunal has upheld the Information Commissioner’s decision to impose a monetary penalty on Basildon Borough Council for publishing sensitive personal information about a family in planning application documents that were made publicly available online.
However, the FTT halved the penalty from £150,000 to £75,000, saying the ICO had not given sufficient weight to certain points in mitigation and not taken into account others.
The Tribunal noted that, unlike fines imposed in the criminal justice system, there was no independent body such as the Sentencing Council providing a definitive list of relevant aggravating and mitigating factors and a matrix of appropriate fines. It also noted that the Information Commissioner was seeking to establish her own ‘database’ of penalties and pertinent factors to be taken into account and this was referred to in the Decision Record, “though it might be argued that that it is not entirely appropriate for the investigator and enforcer of MPNs to be the body that also effectively sets the level of the penalties”.