A Doncaster man has been jailed and another given a suspended sentence at Hull Crown Court in relation to illegal waste activities.
Phillip Slingsby has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and must pay £20,000 towards prosecution costs. He has also been issued with a £200,000 confiscation order.
Robert Spencer was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, which has been suspended for two years and has been ordered to pay £20,000.
The Environment Agency began an investigation after first noting concerns about the Middleton Quarry in Middleton, which was owned and operated by Slingsby. In 2008 the EA embarked on a surveillance operation that saw waste being tipped and levelled on “an industrial scale”. A total of 127,000 tonnes, which would have cost £440,000 to dispose of legally, and posed a risk to ground water were illegally deposited at Middleton Quarry.
Slingsby then moved his operation to 36 Acre Field, Wroot Road in Doncaster in 2009, which was owned by Spencer, and proceeded to tip “thousands of tonnes” of waste on the land, which did not have an environmental permit in force. A warning and instructions to cease tipping immediately were issued to Spencer, who told the EA that Slingsby was responsible for the deposit of the waste.
Further visits to the site revealed evidence that a large hole had been excavated and then backfilled with waste including brick, rubble, soil, plastics and green waste, metal, wood and tyres. When the EA raided the Wroot Road site in October 2010 they dug a series of ‘trial pits’ from which samples confirmed the presence of asbestos on site.
Also seized were waste transfer notes and invoices which suggested that the defendants had made “considerable” financial gain from operating without an environmental permit and handling the waste incorrectly. The EA said that around 72,000 tonnes of waste were illegally disposed of at Wroot Road.
When passing sentence, Judge Jack accepted that Spencer was less culpable than Slingsby but stated that the defendants had both acted in a way that had “put the public at serious risk.”
The EA officer in charge of the investigation said: “This was a large scale waste operation where the defendants allowed waste to be brought onto land without being permitted to do so. Illegal waste sites have the potential to cause serious pollution incidents or harm human health, and this prosecution demonstrates that we take waste crime very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute if necessary, to protect the environment and local communities.”