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Skip operator narrowly escapes prison

A skip hire operator who fly-tipped building waste on Dartmoor was told by a judge that he had avoided prison “by the skin of his teeth”.

Exeter Crown Court was told that rubble and other waste was deposited across a track near Pudson Farm, Okehampton, in January 2017, blocking three fields.

Enquiries by the Environment Agency (EA) traced the waste back to Plymouth Skip Hire, operated by Connor Calam, also known as Riley James.

The building waste came from insurance repairs carried out on a property in Plymouth by a local company that paid the defendant £245 to remove the material on the understanding he was a registered waste carrier.

Plymouth Skip Hire ceased trading in April 2017. Zenith Construction, whose waste was illegally tipped by the defendant, later paid for its removal as a goodwill gesture to the farmer.

Calam, of Seaview Avenue, Lipson, was fined £2,000 for breaching a suspended prison sentence for motoring offences and ordered to pay £2,500 costs. He was also made the subject of a 12-month community order, ordered to pay £260 compensation to Zenith Construction plus an £85 victim surcharge.

Judge Ralls QC warned the defendant he had escaped being sent to prison “by the skin of his teeth”.

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