Two men convicted of waste crime have been ordered to pay back more than £250,000 made during their illegal activities and given a suspended prison sentence.
Andrew Lawrence Green, 54, from Shafton, Barnsley, and Dean Ryder, 54, of Top Fold, Doncaster, were found guilty of three environmental offences that took place between 2011 and 2012 and were prosecuted by the Environment Agency (EA).
After being convicted in 2015 they appealed and lost, and then appealed to a judicial review in 2016 but the conviction was upheld.
They were sentenced on Tuesday 9 October at Sheffield Crown Court where they were sentenced concurrently for each of the three offences – in effect a 12-month prison sentence each – which was suspended for 18 months. They were also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community service.
The process to recover the money made from these crimes was started by the EA in 2017 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The order forcing the men to pay back around £276,000 in equal share within three months or face jail was made at the same time as sentencing of the environmental offences.
Mr Recorder Preston said during sentencing that he found the offending was, “deliberate, flagrant and persistent by you both”, and that he suspended the sentence only because of the length of the proceedings, their ages and for the sake of their families.
EA investigating officer Caron Osborne said: “Between them, Green and Ryder have been ordered to pay more than £250,000, which is a significant confiscation that sends out a clear message to others who flout the law that waste crime does not pay.”
She added: “Waste crime undermines legitimate businesses and can have significant detrimental impacts on communities and the environment. In this case, the two men abandoned around 13,000 tonnes of waste material.”
Green and Ryder were found guilty of the separate offences of depositing waste outside a permitted area in December 2011; operating a regulated facility without a permit between 20 November 2012 and May 2013; and failing to comply with steps 2-7 of a regulation 36 notice dated 7 February 2012.
The court was told that their company Grantscope, which went into liquidation on 12 September 2012, failed to comply with a Regulation 36 enforcement notice served by the EA in February 2012 after waste was piled illegally outside its Goodwin’s Yard site in Barnsley.
Their environmental permit was then revoked yet the pair continued to trade, including processing waste into trommel fines which were then bagged up to be sold as topsoil. They accumulated a waste pile of nearly 13,000 tonnes before abandoning it.
The defendants’ legal representatives said the waste was dumped at a waste transfer site and there was no environmental harm, and that skips containing waste had been put there unlawfully only after a fire at the site, caused by arson.