A skip hire boss who served 18 months in jail has been ordered to repay part of the profits from his illegal activities – estimated to be almost £1m.
Following a four-day confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court, Raymond Shepherd was told to return £14,000 of assets, with a potential six months in prison if he fails to pay.
Shepherd, of Rookhope in County Durham, who ran Albert Hill Skip Hire in Darlington, will have to pay back a total of £980,207 under the Proceeds of Crime Act from future assets.
He was jailed for 18 months in 2013 following two separate trials of operating a waste facility without a permit, depositing waste without a permit and failing to comply with a suspension notice. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.
Shepherd contested Environment Agency (EA) proceedings to make him pay back gains from his criminal activities at the sites, arguing they were carried out lawfully.
Oliver Harmar, area director for the EA in the north-east, said: “This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life.
“Shepherd’s illegal waste operations were carried out in the interests of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment. Not to mention by not complying with regulations, he undermined legitimate businesses.
“And the impact on the community must not be overlooked, including two major fires which took place at Dodsworth Street.”
The case follows a large-scale investigation by the EA which started in 2008 and resulted in two of Shepherd’s family members also being prosecuted and his company being fined £100,000.
A previous Proceeds of Crime hearing in August 2015 saw Raymond’s son, Tony Shepherd, ordered to pay back £350,000. He was subsequently jailed for three years in May 2016 for failing to do so. He still has to return up to £1.2m from future assets.
Raymond’s brother and company director, Paul Stuart Shepherd, was sentenced to a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, in 2013.
Jurors at Raymond Shepherd’s trials heard how the company’s premises at Dodsworth Street were full of illegally-held waste. The company had been depositing and storing waste on an access road, and cement-bound asbestos was also found on-site.
Following conviction, Raymond Shepherd’s waste carrier’s registration was revoked. The site is now clear of all waste.
Dodsworth street 2