Directors of a skip hire company face further spells in prison unless they pay Natural Resources Wales (NRW) nearly £300,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Patricia Gaffey, Joseph Gaffey and Michael Gaffey, directors of Porthmadog Skip Hire, were each sentenced to 10 months in prison in March 2017 for illegally storing waste and breaching the terms of their environmental permit.
Now they have been told by Mold Crown Court to pay £292,000 as compensation to NRW for running a waste operation illegally, based on their personal; assets and the potential value at auction of the company’s assets.
They have three months in which to pay and could be returned to prison if they fail to do so. The court ruled that the trio’s total criminal benefit from their offences was £1,521,304, which means NRW can apply for further compensation if more of their assets come to light
The £292,000 will be use by NRW to partly repay a £347,000 award by the Welsh Government to clear the site at Penamser Industrial Estate, Porthmadog.
NRW executive director of operations for north and mid-Wales Tim Jones said: “We don’t want to take companies to court. We would much rather work with them so they operate legally without harming the environment.
“That’s what we did with this company but they failed to take our advice and, in the end, we had no choice but to take the matter to court.”
Jones said it was important that taxpayers did not have to pay to clean up such sites, which posed a risk to people and wildlife.
NRW has released video footage shot from one of its drones flying over the company’s yard.