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Wiltshire farmer ordered to pay £210,000 for running illegal landfill

A farm owner faces two years imprisonment if he fails to pay back profits gained from his illegal operation, in a ruling issued under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Guy Wentworth, 73, of Ewins Hill Farm, Aldbourne, Marlborough pleaded guilty to operating his farm as a landfill without an environmental permit or exemption certificate between April 2006 and July 2010.

At the sentencing hearing at Salisbury Crown Court on 6 May 2011 the judge said that there had been repeated warnings by the Environment Agency (EA) and lack of response by the defendant.

Wentworth was sentenced to a term of six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. At this hearing the EA made an application to confiscate Wentworth’s assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

A confiscation application was determined on 21 October. Wentworth was ordered to pay £209,980, which must be paid within six months or he faces two years imprisonment. He was also ordered to pay a £10,000 contribution towards the EA’s costs.

EA environment manager Colin Chiverton said: “By operating outside the law Mr Wentworth put the environment at risk as well as undermining legitimate waste businesses.

“We hope this case sends out a very clear message to those who think they can carry out illegal waste activities for profit that serious waste crime does not pay.”

The prosecution was initially brought after EA officers visited the farm twice in 2006. They witnessed waste being directly trucked into the landfill area both from off the farm and from the recycling facility in the farm. They found 36,000 cubic metres of waste in the fill.

Despite warnings Wentworth continued unlawful activities over three years.

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