The operator of an illegal waste site said to have shown “a complete disregard towards the environment, landowners and authority” has been jailed for seven months.
Robert Murphy, 48, of Burton-upon-Trent, went to prison for depositing, storing and burning large quantities of mixed waste on land he did not own and without an environmental permit.
Murphy continued to operate on the site despite advice and guidance from the Environment Agency (EA), a stop letter, changing of the locks to the site entrance, the deployment of CCTV and the planting of a concrete block by the EA to prevent access to the land.
During a 15-month period from 3 January 2013 to 28 June 2014, Murphy used the land, which belonged to a vulnerable couple, for his illegal operations. The court was told it was now “a complete ruin”.
The court heard from a number of witnesses, one of whom gave evidence behind a screen.
A hearing on 12 June will consider confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to help the landowner pay for some of the clean-up costs.
After the case, an EA officer involved with the investigation said: “Throughout the investigations, Murphy was given a number of opportunities to stop his illegal activities but continued to show a complete disregard towards the environment, landowners and authority.”