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Businessman 'done' for forgery by EA

A Cornish businessman received a four month prison sentence for flouting the law, turning to forgery after he was refused permission to dump demolition waste at a farm near Newquay. Andrew Watson received the sentence suspended for a year and was ordered to carry out 175 hours of unpaid work after his misdemeanour was exposed. He was also ordered to pay £2,550 costs. A court heard that Watson stood to receive £90,000 from a local demolition company, DRS Demolition, by arranging for waste to be deposited on his land at Bejowan Farm, Quintrell Downs. But when he asked the Environment Agency (EA) for permission to tip at the farm, his application was turned down. The site was an important habitat for birds and animals that would have been lost if it was covered with infill material and topsoil. However, Watson assured DRS Demolitions plant manager that he had the necessary EA exemptions and documentation to tip the material into the site. The plant manager prepared a contract and said he would start delivering material to the farm as soon as Watson produced a valid exemption form the EA. Approximately 40,000 cubic metres of inert waste would be deposited at the farm over a two year period. Watson did not have this exemption so created a fake document and produced it to DRS demolition. But the plant manager became suspicious of the document when he realised that the signature on the form was bogus and slightly different to the usual form issued by the EA. He then contacted the EA who took the case to court. Environment Agency officer Claudine Fontier said: These are serious offences. The defendant deliberately flouted the law and set out to deceive a third party for financial gain. He had already been advised by the Agency that the area of land where he wanted to tip was unsuitable, yet he carried on regardless motivated by profit. Had the tipping gone ahead the demolition company would have been acting illegally and could have faced enforcement action and considerable financial loss, Fontier added.

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