Illegal Waste Disposal
A defendant has recently been sentenced to an immediate custodial sentence of fourteen months at Chelmsford Crown Court after he continued to import and burn waste on a large scale at two sites in Essex despite previous warnings from the Environment Agency.
Helen Holder of Kangs Solicitors outlines the circumstances.
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The Circumstances | Kangs Environment Agency Solicitors
- In June 2020 Environment Agency Officers visited the first site in Bradwell-On-Sea, after firefighters reported concerns following several fires at the site, and found large volumes of waste including electricals, household and demolition and also piles of burned waste.
- Further site visits followed the Environment Agency Officers attempted to work with the defendant to stop his activities and clear the site.
In September 2020 a second site owned by the defendant was declared a cause for concern by firefighters following the discovery of piles of burning waste with flames two metres high.
- As the defendant failed to engage with the Environmental Agency, he was charged with:
- operating two waste management facilities without a permit,
- disposing of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution or harm to human health, and
- failing to remove the waste from one site.
Plea and Sentence | Kangs Environment Agency Defence Solicitors
The Prosecution maintained that the defendant’s conduct was aggravated because:
- his activities allowed him to avoid payment of fees and taxes due upon lawful disposal;
- his actions undermined lawful competitors;
- he persisted with his offending in the face of advice, assistance and intervention of the authorities.
Having pleaded guilty to the offences, the defendant was sentenced to fourteen months immediate custodial sentence
He was also ordered to clean up both sites upon his release from prison and the case has been adjourned to September 2023 for consideration of Prosecution Costs and Confiscation Proceedings under The Proceeds Of Crime Act 2002.
The Sentencing Judge stated that the two sites were ‘professional operations for your own gain. The impact of your behaviour on others was profound. You affected legitimate businesses and encouraged others to sink to the bottom like you.’
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
‘We take illegal waste activity very seriously and will not hesitate to disrupt criminal activity and prosecute those responsible.
In this case, (the defendant) was repeatedly instructed to remove waste from both sites and failed to do so.
He operated at a commercial advantage, importing and burning waste on a significant scale, undermining legitimate business with little or no regard for the environment or residents.
His sentence shows just how serious Her Honour Judge Loram QC considered this to be.’
How Can We Help? | Kangs EA Permits Defence Solicitors
It is clear from the sentence handed down by the Sentencing Judge that convictions for breaches of the Environmental Permitting Regulations can have a significant impact on an individual, affecting liberty, finances and impacting on business activities.
It is therefore crucially important that anyone being investigated or prosecuted by the Environment Agency should seek immediate expert advice.
At Kangs Solicitors we strive to take the pressure off our clients when faced with serious allegations of alleged criminal activity of whatever nature and we provide the necessary attention to detail and commitment in the pursuit of
a the most successful outcome available.
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