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Waste site operator ordered to pay £350,000

A County Durham waste site operator has been ordered to pay £350,000 by the Environment Agency (EA) under the Proceeds of Crime (PoC) Act.

Tony Shepherd, 41, from Darlington, pleaded guilty to two offences of operating an illegal waste site at West Musgrave Farm, St Helen Auckland, between August 2009 and March 2011.

He admitted to a third charge of operating a site (pictured) illegally at Barrier Works, Hackworth Industrial Estate, Shildon, between December 2010 and July 2011.

The EA said he had been illegally depositing, sorting and storing mixed household and industrial waste on the land.

Shepherd could have to pay just under £1.2m, the agreed benefit sum of the criminal activities, if he comes into future assets.

He was previously sentenced to 12 months in prison in February 2014, suspended for two years.

Shepherd could face a prison sentence if he fails to pay, following a confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court.

The EA in the north-east described the case as one of its biggest seizures.

Waste and enforcement manager Andrew Turner said: “This is a debt for life for Shepherd as any assets in the future could go towards paying back the full amount.

“This hearing demonstrates how seriously we take waste crime, and we will continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations.”

A PoC investigation is still ongoing into Shepherd’s father, Raymond, who managed Albert Hill Skip Hire in Dodsworth Street, Darlington.

Raymond Shepherd was jailed for 18 months in December 2013 after being found guilty following a trial of operating a regulated facility without a licence, unlawfully depositing controlled waste and failing to comply with a suspension notice.

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