Lowestoft-based Rodent Service fined for storing poison in filing cabinet

PUBLISHED: 16:19 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:19 21 December 2017

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture:  GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk pest control company which failed to store hazardous chemicals safely has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling more than £100,000.

Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd, which has premises in Cooke Road, Lowestoft, allowed a poisonous gas used for pest control to be stored in a filing cabinet in a workshop next to an office and other staff facilities, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Unauthorised pesticides were also found under a sink where staff made drinks, said Richard Beynon, prosecuting.

Sentencing the company and one of its directors Donald Martin for health and safety breaches, Judge Rupert Overbury described the storage and labelling of chemicals as “haphazard” and said there had been a “high risk” of harm to staff.

He said the company had been served with warnings and had a conviction in 2011 relating to the use of pesticides resulting in a £3,350 fine.

Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd admitted three offences of failing to ensure the health and safety of employees and non-employees on or before June 29 last year in relation to the storage of hazardous chemicals and biocides. It was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £11,000 costs.

Donald Martin, 61, of Church Road, Kessingland, admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of employees in relation to the storage of hazardous chemicals and was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Miles Bennett, representing Donald Martin and Rodent Service (East Anglia) Ltd, said there was no evidence of any harm actually being caused to anyone by the breaches and said the majority of the substances would have to be injected or ingested to be harmful.

He said a number of the chemicals were very old and had been bought pre-decimalisation.

He said staff were experienced in dealing with toxic substances “day in and day out” and the third party risk was extremely small.

He said “finally and belatedly” the company had improved its procedures and it was unlikely the offences would be repeated.

Mr Bennett said the company had “got a bit too busy” and combined with the ill health of one of the directors and his wife, proper attention had not been paid to the management and storage of chemicals.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other news


Residents and councillors have vowed to fight a decision which will see historic archives from Lowestoft and the surrounding area stripped from the town.


People are being encouraged to find out more about a possible career in the Fire and Rescue Service as taster day sessions are held across Suffolk.


As Potters celebrates the 20th anniversary of hosting the World Indoor Bowls Championships, chief reporter AMY SMITH went along to meet world number one Greg Harlow for a lesson on the rink.


A Lowestoft-area primary school has closed for the day due to a heating failure.

Most Read

Great Yarmouth is set for a tourism spending boost after it was confirmed cruise ships will be docking with hundreds of passengers at the town’s port throughout the year.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Borough Council
Yesterday, 12:48

Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary and an attempted burglary at two high street business premises.

Read more

A Lowestoft-area primary school has closed for the day due to a heating failure.

Read more
Suffolk County
Tue, 12:25

A 40-year-old man has been charged with two counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child.

Read more
Wed, 17:32

This breathtaking shot of a sail boat gliding across the water as it is silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset at Oulton Broad’s North Bay was taken by 71-year-old Peter Waller.

Read more

Later in Life


Click here to view
the Later in Life


Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter