A waste company owner who was arrested as he tried to board a flight for Dubai has been jailed for a year.
Tom McCabe sold his company for £1 and fled following enforcement action by the Environment Agency (EA).
McCabe, 32, from Worthing, West Sussex, was jailed for 12 months at Lewes Crown Court and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.
The court was told that, in January 2012, McCabe set up a waste company, Matrix Bio Logistics, with his partner Kim Box on leased land at Uckfield, East Sussex.
The EA imposed strict conditions, including a limit of 500 tonnes of wood waste to be on-site in any seven-day period.
Within four weeks, the court was told, the amount of waste wood stored there was more than 1,200 tonnes, well in excess of the agreed limit. A notice was served by the agency requiring McCabe to clear the site but he ignored it, sold the company for £1 and went on the run.
While McCabe was being sought, Box was sentenced at Hove Crown Court in July 2015 to a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.
McCabe was eventually apprehended by Heathrow police at the departure gate trying to board a plane to Dubai.
The responsibility to clear the site of the huge pile of wood left by McCabe now falls to the landowner, and it will cost up to £200,000 to remove all the waste.
In passing the sentence, Judge Hayward said: “This was an appalling tale and took place with no thought for the landowner. McCabe leased the land, took money for the waste and then evaded detection.”