Illegal waste offender admits to more crime - The Evesham Observer

Illegal waste offender admits to more crime

Evesham Editorial 9th Sep, 2018   0

A PERSISTENT waste criminal has been handed a further 22-week sentence after he pleaded guilty to a further offence at an illegal waste site at Ridgeway Park Farm close to Throckmorton Airfield.

The new sentence will run alongside the 26 months John Bruce is serving behind bars for dumping, burying and burning hazardous waste at the site.

Bruce pleaded guilty to the new charge in relation to operating a regulated facility at Ridgeway Park Farm without an environmental permit on Tuesday (September 4) at Worcester Crown Court.

In mitigation, the Judge noted the 46-year-old’s plea had avoided the need for a full trial.

The fresh case, brought by the Environment Agency, concerned illegal waste operations at Ridgeway Park Farm in 2016.  Bruce had accepted more than 60 tonnes of redundant kitchen and bathroom materials onto his site.

When Environment Agency officers visited the farm, they saw in addition to these materials, flat pack furniture and packaging materials were also being burnt on site.

Bruce was jailed in May after he pleaded guilty to six offences relating to a three and a half year period, between 2011 and 2014 where the 46-year-old brought waste onto the site and either dumped it, buried it or burned it.

Heavy goods vehicles and articulated tippers removed waste from construction sites and permitted waste sites around the West Midlands.

This was then deposited at the farm and disposed of on an industrial scale by burning and burial.

Responding to complaints from local residents, Environment Agency officers met with Bruce and warnings were issued.

For several weeks fires were continually burning at the site causing misery for local residents, endangering health and polluting the air in the area..

An Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “Bruce has shown a blatant disregard for the environment and local community by operating a large scale illegal waste site at his farm. His actions undermine legitimate business also the investment and economic growth that go with it.

“The Environment Agency will use all its enforcement powers, where we believe environmental offences have been committed.

In cases where we believe monies have been unlawfully gained, we will investigate under the proceeds of crime act and confiscate assets.”

The Environment Agency urge people to report waste crime on their Incident Hotline 0800 80 70 60 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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