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Former skip operator gets suspended sentences

A former skip hire operator from Belfast has been given four suspended sentences after keeping 4,000 tonnes of mixed waste at his home without a licence.

Between August 2011 and February 2014, officers from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) visited the home of Hugh Corey in Hannahstown, where they found plastics, wood, metals, textiles, carpet, tarmac, plasterboard, construction and demolition waste and decomposing wastes.

Samples taken at the site showed this waste was polluting. The site also contained a number of skips holding household waste.

On 11 October, Corey pleaded guilty to four charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

At Laganside Crown Court, he was subsequently given four sentences, each suspended for two years, for depositing waste without a licence and keeping waste in a manner likely to cause pollution.

One sentence was for eight months, two were for four months and one was for three months.

An NIEA spokesman said: “This is a significant case where thousands of tonnes of waste have been deposited on land without the proper authorisation and in circumstances where pollution was likely to happen.

“It represents the illegal burying of more than 330 commercial bin lorry loads of mixed waste without any consideration for the environment, in order to avoid the charges associated with proper disposal.”

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