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Two sentenced for illegal waste crimes

The tenant and landlord of a Gateshead compound that was used to illegally store and burn waste have been sentenced, following an Environment Agency (EA) investigation.

Solicitor Chris Bunting, acting on behalf of the EA, told the court that Barry Howourth owned a compound (pictured) at Carlisle Street in Felling, which Tony Smith leased, and then used it to take in waste.

In March 2014, EA officers witnessed scrap metal being broken and mixed waste being stored and burned illegally at the site. Despite repeated warnings and enforcement action from EA officers, activities continued at the site for a number of months.

Smith and Howourth appeared at Gateshead Magistrates’ Court on 30 September for sentence.

Smith had previously admitted three offences of operating an illegal waste site from March last year. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 12 months’ supervision and 200 hours of unpaid work in the community. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

Howourth had pleaded guilty to two offences of knowingly permitting the operation of an illegal waste site since May 2014. He was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

In April this year Smith was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £15 victim surcharge for two counts of intentionally obstructing an environment officer.

The EA’s Dave Edwardson said: “We made repeated attempts to advise both Howourth and Smith that the activity was illegal, but requests and subsequent enforcement action were repeatedly ignored.

“Activities at the site, like breaking vehicles and storing waste, require a permit to ensure any impact on the environment is closely monitored.”

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