Three defendants plead guilty in Mobuoy waste case

Three defendants have pleaded guilty to a range of offences in relation to the unauthorised disposal of waste at the Mobuoy site, Northern Ireland’s department of agriculture, environment and rural affairs (Daera) says.

The offenders were convicted at Winchester Crown Court on 18 November (picture: Shutterstock)

The high-profile Mobuoy Road waste site, which is located near Londonderry, consists of two distinct areas. One once housed waste management company City Industrial Waste (CIW) Ltd and the other Campsie Sand and Gravel (CSG) Ltd.

The Mobuoy Road site was previously home to a landfill, which closed in 2007, and a materials recycling facility, which closed in 2013.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) and municipal waste were allegedly dumped at the site between 2007 and 2013.

The site gained notoriety when Daera, formerly known as the department of the environment (DOE), instigated a review of waste disposal activities at the Mobuoy Road site in 2013 to inform the future regulation of the waste industry in Northern Ireland (see letsrecycle.com story).

Sentencing

Daera says that on 9 September, Paul Doherty, 64, a director of CSG from Culmore Road, Londonderry, pleaded guilty to seven waste offences with regard to controlled waste identified on lands located on the Mobuoy Road outside Londonderry.

And, Daera says that at a further court hearing on 16 September, CIW and its director, Gerry Farmer, 53, of Westlake, Londonderry, pleaded guilty to three waste offences, each with regard to controlled waste identified on lands located on the Mobuoy Road.

Daera expects the trio to be sentenced on 7 November.

A number of similar charges have been ‘left on the books’ for two remaining defendants, Daera says. If charges are left on the books they can be reactivated at a later stage, Daera says, subject to permission from the Crown Court or the Court of Appeal.

Illegal dumping

The Mobuoy Road waste site occupies an area of around 46 hectares. The River Faughan, designated an area of special scientific interest and a special area of conservation, forms the western boundary of the site.

Illegal dumping, especially of this magnitude, shows a shocking and appalling disregard for the residents, the environment and the law

  • Daera spokesperson

Following the guilty pleas, a Daera spokesperson said: “Illegal dumping, especially of this magnitude, shows a shocking and appalling disregard for the residents, the environment and the law.

“While our priority in this case is to protect the water quality of the River Faughan as well as protect the environment by remediating this site, it has also been a priority to pursue those who perpetrated this crime through the courts.

“Following the conclusion of the court proceedings, the department will be in a position to move forward with its development of a remediation strategy to ensure that the legacy of this site is a positive one for future generations.”

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