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Waste offender handed longest jail sentence in four years

A Honicknowle man has been handed the longest sentence given in four years for what has been described as one of the worst cases of fly-tipping in Plymouth ever.

Persistent offender John Tapscott was sent down for 16 months after it emerged that he had been convincing customers that he was a legitimate waste operator only to dump truckloads of rubbish at local beauty spots throughout Devon.

He was also banned from driving for two years after pleading guilty to five offences of depositing controlled waste without a license at Plymouth Crown Court.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency (EA) and Plymouth City Council after investigations had found six of his illegal dump sites near Roborough, Bickleigh and at St Budeaux.

After being tracked down, Tapscott showed no regret when interviewed by the EA and carried on dumping even though he knew the damage it was doing.

EA officer Clarissa Lewis said: This has been the worst fly-tipping case that we have had to deal with around Plymouth.

Not only were people paying up to £200 to have the waste removed but landowners and local authorities had to pay thousands to have the rubbish cleared up and disposed of at licensed sites. Unfortunately this money is now unlikely to be recovered leaving the tax payer and landowners footing the bill.

Judge Gilbert said that Tapscott had shown a total disregard for the law, had cheated his customers and been motivated by greed. He suggested that his attitude towards the investigation had been both dismissive and obstructive.

EA team leader Bruce Newport added: We are committed to chasing down these rogue operators who blight our countryside and put our environment, wildlife and pets in danger.

We work with the police and other enforcement bodies to share intelligence to catch those involved. Our policy is to prosecute all those involved in these anti-social activities.



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