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Man, 80, jailed for ignoring court order to remove 7,000 tonnes of waste

An 80-year-old man has been sentenced to six weeks imprisonment for failing to comply with a court order to remove over 7,000 tonnes of waste at a site near Exeter, the Environment Agency has said.

The Environment Agency said Mr Baker showed a flagrant disregard for the environment in storing thousands of tonnes of waste illegally

A statement from the regulator outlined that Mr Roger Baker was convicted of dumping 7,514 tonnes of waste from Pynes Farm, Politmore in 2018 was ordered to remove it to a permitted site by September 2019.

The case was brought to Exeter Magistrates by the Environment Agency, who said that the court heard on 7 February that Mr Baker had not removed any of the waste even after five years.

According to the Environment Agency,  its officers visited the site last month and found all the waste still in place, with little indication that Baker had any intention of complying with the regulations.

Mr Baker pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a regulation 44 notice, which required him to remove the waste to a permitted site. In response, Exeter magistrates sentenced Baker to six weeks’ imprisonment. Additionally, he was ordered to pay costs amounting to £4,731.

Previous case

In 2016, the Environment Agency reported that Mr Baker placed of 7,514 tonnes of inert waste onto a field in Poltimore, Exeter, purportedly for ‘drainage’ works.

However, the body highlighted that this quantity of waste significantly exceeded the limits specified in the U1 waste exemption authorisation issued by the Environment Agency.

The U1 exemption permits the reuse of waste without the necessity for an environmental permit but imposes a maximum tonnage restriction of 1,000 tonnes for soil and sub-soil.

It was reported that the waste was utilised to level a “substantial portion” of the site, resulting in a “transformation of the field’s character and that of the surrounding landscape.”

The Environment agency said that not only did the defendant fail to adhere to the conditions outlined in his U1 waste exemption, but he also neglected to obtain the requisite planning permission from Devon County Council.

He was fined £1,710 and ordered to pay £4,946 costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Reg 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

Disregard

Richard Tugwell, an environment officer for the Environment Agency, said: “Baker showed a flagrant disregard for the environment and repeatedly ignored the court order requiring him to remove the waste.”

The statement went on to say that the court made it clear it still expected Mr Baker to remove the waste after he is released from prison.

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