Authorities get tough on waste crime activities

Authorities have come down hard in two waste crime cases, with two flytippers jailed in Liverpool and a Darlington skip hire boss ordered to pay back nearly £1 million in illegal proceeds.

Trade waste which had been dumped near a dance school in Liverpool

George Kevin Parry, 55, and David Smith, 53, of Aspes Road, West Derby, were sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates Court on Friday (24 February).

Trade waste which had been dumped near a dance school in Liverpool

The two “serial” flytippers were caught repeatedly dumping tonnes of illegal trade waste, including asbestos, yards from a children’s dance school in the Norris Green area.

Both men, who are unemployed, had been offering a ‘man and van’ service before they were caught in a covert operation by Liverpool city council and Merseyside Police.

Waste crime

The Police had installed the secret cameras at the site and recorded the offences in May 2016. The waste was regularly set fire to causing danger to nearby property, though there is no suggestion the defendants were involved.

In September, the city council seized their Ford transit van in Fazakerley under new laws allowing them to target vehicles suspected of being used for illegal waste dumping.

Pleading guilty to eight charges, Mr Parry and Mr Smith were sentenced to 20 weeks in prison and 12 weeks in prison respectively. The two men were each ordered to pay £580.

The prosecution is part of a waste crime crackdown by Liverpool city council. Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Fly-tipping has a huge environmental and financial cost and must be fought tooth and nail. Today’s ruling is a warning to anyone thinking of fly-tipping that we will always take any action we can, including destroying your vehicle.”

Darlington

Elsewhere, the Environment Agency successfully prosecuted skip hire boss Raymond Shepherd of Rookhope, County Durham, at Teesside Crown Court on Thursday (23 February).

Mr Shepherd, 61, was found to have benefited financially from illegal activities at his former site Albert Hill Skip Hire in Darlington and has been ordered to pay back £980,207 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr Shepherd was found to have illegally benefited from activities at Albert Hill Skip Hire

Mr Shepherd had previously been jailed for 18 months in December 2013 for his activities at the site, having been convicted of operating a waste facility without a permit, depositing waste without a permit, and failing to comply with a suspension notice.

He was also banned from being a director for 10 years.

Following a four-day confiscation hearing last week, Mr Shepherd was given a confiscation order to pay back £14,000 of available assets – and could face up to spend six months in prison if he fails to do so.

‘Debt for life’

If Mr Shepherd comes into future assets, he will be required to pay back more of the near £1 million sum in what the Environment Agency describes as a ‘debt for life’.

Oliver Harmar, area director for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life. It sends out a message to the industry that waste crime does not pay and not only will we hit people with court action but we’ll then hit them in the pocket.”

The prosecution comes as part of a wider investigation into the activities which saw Mr Shepherd’s son, Tony Shepherd, jailed for three years in May 2016 for failing to pay back £350,000.

He still has to pay back the money, and potentially up to £1.2 million if he comes into future assets.

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