Published: 10:00, 03 June 2014
A doctor offering cosmetic skin treatments dumped waste from his private health clinic - including patients' personal data and used latex gloves, a court heard.
Michael Sheill runs the Wells Medical Centre in London Road, Tunbridge Wells, but is neither registered nor regulated by the General Medical Council.
The 55-year-old is accused of twice dumping waste in a neighbour's bin.
Among the items found in black bin bags by a council officer were an empty syringe box, used latex gloves and appointment charts listing the names of patients, details of their treatments and their telephone numbers.
Sheill, who also lives in the listed building housing the clinic, denies two offences of failing in his duty to transfer commercial waste to an authorised waste carrier and to create and retain a waste transfer note on March 1 and June 14 last year.
He also denies failing in his duty to furnish waste documents on March 17, as required following a notice served by the waste regulation authority.
The jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard the Wells Medical Centre operates from several rooms at number 71 London Road and offers cosmetic treatments including skin peels, mole removal and laser skin therapy.
Sheill runs the business as a sole trader but it has associated clinics in Ashford, as well as Hastings and Crawley in Sussex.
Prosecutor Emmaline Lambert told the court on behalf of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council that the authority received a complaint about waste from the clinic.
An officer visited the premises on March 1 last year and found rubbish sacks next to residential bins belonging to the neighbouring property.
Inside, said Miss Lambert, were the items which the prosecution claim to be commercial waste.
The following day the officer wrote to Sheill enclosing a notice under the Enviornmental Protection Act which required him to produce copies of his waste transfer documents for the preceeding 12 months within 14 days.
"It warned him also of possible criminal action," added Miss Lambert.
However, the court heard there was no response to the letter and so a fixed penalty notice was delivered by hand through Sheill's door on March 21.
The council received another complaint on June 14 and two officers went to the the medical centre.
"Inside the green wheelie bin for the neighbouring property, they found a black sack containing paperwork for the Wells clinic and other items, including a consent form for the laser treatment of warts, a CV and a paper examination towel," said Miss Lambert.
She also told the jury that the prosecution must prove the waste was commercial and that it came from an area within number 71 London Road which was used "wholly or mainly" for commercial purposes.
"In this case Dr Sheill was the producer of the waste and it came from his clinic. For that sort of waste - commercial waste - it has to be treated differently."
She continued: "All Dr Sheill did was transfer it to the local authority residential waste carrier....the waste was clearly commercial due to the type of waste he left for residential collection."
The court was told the clinic had been registered with the council for business rates since March 2006 but qualified for small business rate relief of 50% due to its "rateable value" being less than £6,000.
In 2010 government changes led to the clinic qualifying for 100% relief.
However, council revenues manager Sheila Coburn said for a building to be even given a rateable value there had to be a "significant" amount of work taking place within it.
The trial is expected to end tomorrow.
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