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Suspended sentence for Newcastle farmer

A farmer has been handed a suspended prison sentence for running an illegal waste site in the north-east of England.

Leonard Sutherland, 77, admitted operating a waste site without a permit at Burns Close Pig Farm, Armstrong Street, Callerton.

He was sentenced at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on 7 February to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must also clear all waste from the site by 7 April.

On behalf of the Environment Agency (EA), solicitor Simon Crowder told the court that officers saw a significant amount of mixed waste at the site on seven different dates between January 2015 and July 2016.

The waste had been sorted into types, he said, and there was some evidence of burning.

Sutherland named someone he said was responsible for putting the waste on his land. But after this person was interviewed, no link was found between his activities and the waste. Sutherland also said he was in poor health.

The EA’s Andy Rothery said after the case: “Sutherland was repeatedly told the waste on his site was illegal and, despite being given opportunities to clear it, this didn’t happen.

“Illegal waste activity has a detrimental impact on the community and environment, as well as undermining legitimate businesses.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure enforcement action is taken against those who flout the law.”

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