A landowner who illegally landfilled tens of thousands of tonnes of waste on a Cheshire farm has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £100,000 towards Environment Agency (EA) costs.
Eric Hale of Bank Top Farm, near Frodsham, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to operating an illegal waste site without an environmental permit and dumping and landfilling controlled waste on the land.
He was sentenced to:
- 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years
- disqualified from driving for 12 months
- ordered to work 200 hours unpaid
- curfew of 8pm to 6am for three months.
Dennis Whiting and Stefan Street each received a conditional discharge for two years after admitting dumping and landfilling controlled waste.
The EA brought the case against Hale, Whiting and Street after a lengthy investigation which identified that significant amounts of waste were being brought on to the farm, which did not have a permit.
It was found that the operation of the illegal site was closely connected with waste company Eric Hale Skip Hire. The prosecution for the EA stated that most of waste collected by the company was illegally dumped and landfilled at Bank Top Farm instead of being taken to a legitimate waste site.
Tracey Rimmer, EA area environment manager, said: “This operation demonstrates how the EA works in partnership to tackle serious waste crime. We have worked closely with the police and local authorities to pursue these criminals and bring them to justice.”
During the course of the investigation Hale, Street and Whiting were seen driving large waste vehicles which delivered, deposited and disposed of mixed waste, demolition waste including plasterboard and other waste including carpets and mattresses. Trommel fines were also dumped at Bank Top Farm.
The judge on sentencing said: “Eric Hale was driven by greed to continue the illegal operation.”