Farmer Prosecuted for using Unlicensed Gangmaster
21st January 2010
David Leslie Fruits Limited, a soft fruits farmer in Scones of Lethendy, Perth, has been prosecuted for using an unlicensed gangmaster.
After pleading guilty today in Perth Sheriff Court, David Leslie Fruits Limited has been sentenced to pay a fine of £500.
The prosecution was the result of Gangmasters Licensing Authority investigation which uncovered that an unlicensed business in Bulgaria had supplied 250 Bulgarian workers to pick strawberries at the farm in the Summer of 2008.
All the workers left the farm after the GLA’s action, with most going home to Bulgaria. The GLA investigation was conducted with Tayside Police and other Government enforcement agencies.
David Leslie Fruits Limited is the first labour user to be prosecuted under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act. Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, said:
“David Leslie Fruits Limited have paid the price for using an illegal gangmaster. This prosecution sends a warning to all farmers who are tempted to use unlicensed labour providers whether they are in this country or abroad. It’s not worth the risk: anyone can find a licensed gangmaster on our website: www.gla.gov.uk.”
Notes to Editors
1. It is illegal under section 13 of the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 to use an unlicensed gangmaster.
2. David Leslie Fruits Limited is the first labour user to be prosecuted under the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act. In addition, four gangmasters have been prosecuted for not having a licence.
3. The Bulgarian gangmaster involved in this case subsequently applied for and was refused a GLA licence.
4. Ian Japp, GLA Head of Enforcement for Scotland and the North of England, and Paul Whitehouse, GLA Chairman, are available for interview.
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