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Suspended jail term for waste burning farmer

A Norfolk farmer has been given a suspended jail term for illegally burning waste including animal carcasses and fridges.

King’s Lynn magistrates gave Brian Rutterford a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, on condition of good behaviour. He must also pay a victim surcharge totalling of £18,051.50.

Rutterford admitted operating an unpermitted site at Blackdyke Farm in Hockwold-cum-Wilton, illegally depositing and burning waste there.

Environment Agency (EA) prosecutor Sarah Dunne told the court these activities had continued despite warnings from officers and at least three follow-up visits and emails.

Rutterford allowed other people to take waste to his farm to burn and also told his employees to bring waste from his own rental properties.

EA officers found a fire burning with about five skip loads of waste, which Rutterford said was from his farm but included kitchen unit doors, plastic, rubber and metal items.

Further inspections found partially burned and rotting animal carcasses, along with fridges and freezers which, when burned, release climate-changing chemicals.

Dunne told the court that Rutterford “deliberately and audaciously flouted the law”.

After the hearing, EA officer Naomi Daniel said: “Burning waste saved the cost of legal disposal and put the environment at real risk. Burning fridges and freezers releases climate-changing chemicals and pollutes the atmosphere.”


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