Five hauliers and a director of a skip company are facing a £100,000 bill after being found guilty of illegally tipping thousands of tonnes of waste near Helston, West Cornwall.
The case was brought by the Environment Agency (EA). The court heard how hauliers Broad and Sons, Maen Karne Aggregates, St Pirans Trucks, Harts Haulage and Michael Mudge illegally dumped 9,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste at Trenoweth Farm.
In addition to fines and costs, the firms were ordered to pay back profits they had made from the dumping under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Michael Leah, who was director of haulage and skip hire company Leah Ltd at the time of his offences during 2007 and 2008, was individually ordered to pay £50,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act plus £4,000 costs. He was also sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.
Site manager for the company Mark Outram was ordered to pay £3,000 costs and carry out 250 hours community service. Leah Ltd has now gone into liquidation.
Leah had dumped three lorry loads of waste at Trenoweth Farm. He also dumped waste at Boswens Farm, Newbridge but “significant amounts” of asbestos were found within the material, causing serious damage to ancient field boundaries. Boswens Farm lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a stretch of Heritage Coastline.
Leah estimated he had dumped between 800 to 1,000 tonnes of waste at Boswens but, due to his lack of documentation, this could not be verified. The EA estimates the real tonnage dumped may have been up to 4,000 tonnes.
EA spokesman Redwynn Sterry said: “This case demonstrates how important it is for those who handle waste to make full and adequate checks in respect of where waste is deposited. Simply taking the word of a so called ‘site agent’ or landowner is unacceptable.”
The cost for the hauliers:
Broad and Sons, Manaccan, Truro (2176 tonnes) £2,500 for four offences plus £4,080 payable as Proceeds of Crime.
Maen Karne Aggregates, Truro (1875 tonnes) £2,250 for four offences plus £3,750 POC.
St Pirans Trucks, Camborne (1620 tonnes)…… £2,000 for three offences plus £4860 POC.
Harts Haulage Ltd, Redruth (1500 tonnes)….. £1,800 for four offences plus £3,000 POC
Michael Mudge Ltd, Praze, Camborne (1280 tonnes)…..£1,600 for four offences plus £3,200 POC.
Each company was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs. The case was heard at Truro Crown Court on 16 August.