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Landowner’s jail term extended after illegal dumping

A Doncaster landowner has had his prison sentence extended to 12 months after failing to pay £20,000 compensation for illegal waste activities.

Robert Spencer, of Oak Farm, was originally sentenced in May 2014 to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay compensation under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POC).

Spencer has now been jailed at Sheffield Magistrates Court for failing to pay the costs and the Environment Agency (EA) said it will look to recover the outstanding balance.

Speaking after the case, an EA officer involved with the investigation said: “Spencer has shown a complete disregard for the law and the environment throughout this case and it is important that we now seek to recover the outstanding charges to bring this case to a close.”

The offences related to illegal waste activities involving Spencer and another landowner Phillip Slingsby between 2008 and 2010 at Middleton Quarry, Pollington and then at Wroot Road, Doncaster.

The EA’s investigation in 2008 found 127,000 tonnes of waste were illegally deposited at Middleton Quarry, owned by Slingsby.

Slingsby then moved his operation to the site in Doncaster in 2009, which was owned by Spencer, and illegally dumped 72,000 tonnes of waste, including brick, rubble, soil, plastics, metal, wood and tyres.

Waste transfer notes and invoices were seized in an EA raid in 2010, which suggested the defendants had profited from operating without an environmental permit.

When passing sentence in 2014, Judge Jack accepted that Spencer was less culpable than Slingsby but stated that the defendants had both acted in a way that had “put the public at serious risk.”

Slingsby was originally jailed for 12 months and also ordered to pay £20,000 towards prosecution costs. He was also issued with a £200,000 confiscation order.

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