Guilty plea in major milk industry investigation
20th November 2012
Christopher Blakeney appeared at Swindon Crown Court on 15 November, 2012 when guilty pleas were entered on all charges brought against him and Marden Management Ltd.
The case was adjourned for sentencing until 12 April, 2013. Notes to editors
1. Previous press releases in relation to this investigation can be found at: August 2011:
http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1043/Prosecution%20of%20Unlicensed%20Gangm aster%20in%20the%20Dairy%20Investigation.pdf May 2011: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1043/GLA%20investigation%20into%20the%20dair y%20industry%20continues.pdf September 2010: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1050/Dairy%20Industry%20Satement%20Sept%20 10.pdf May 2010: http://gla.defra.gov.uk/PageFiles/1050/GLA%20investigation%20into%20the%20Dair y%20Industry.pdf
2. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) was set up to curb the exploitation of workers in the agricultural, horticultural, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packing industries. The Act establishing it was passed in 2004.
3. Protecting workers is the key aim alongside protecting legitimate labour providers and protecting the tax payer by uncovering unpaid taxes.
4. The GLA regulate the supply of workers and labour services to any of the regulated sectors in the UK.
5. It is a criminal offence to provide labour in the industries regulated by the GLA without a licence. It is also an offence to use labour provided by unlicensed labour providers.
6. The GLA assess compliance against its Licensing Standards which reflects UK legislation, including Forced Labour Offence. Licensing Standard 1.1 covers whether a person is “Fit & Proper” to hold a licence.
7. In December 2009 a new offence of forced labour was introduced in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. It became an offence in Scotland in August 2010. GLA guidance on the offences can be found in GLA Brief 9.
8. The GLA is committed to the Governments regulatory principles, and does not conduct inspections without reason where potential risks may be identified.
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0845 602 5020