Narrow escape for illegal skip firm landowner

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A SOUTH Yorkshire man who allowed an illegal skip firm to operate on his site without a permit has narrowly escaped immediate custody.

Gary Thompson, aged 49, was given a 12-month jail term suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of community work, after he admitted allowing his premises to be used by an illegal waste operator.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Thompson, of Portland Street, Barnsley, rented a site on the Carlton Lane Industrial Estate.

He allowed John Devoy, 51, of Cemetery Road, Grimethorpe, to run a skip hire company from the premises, using Devoy’s skips and wagons for his business in lieu of payment. But neither man held permits allowing them to deal in waste.

Louise Azmi, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court that when Environment Agency officers raided the site they found more than 2,000 cubic metres of rubbish including building rubble, soil, stone, plastics, household and commercial waste being illegally stored.

Numerous skips of mixed and burned waste, an old television and an ironing board were also found.

Devoy later moved his rubbish to another site in Grimethorpe where officers found five skips.

He eventually abandoned the site leaving the owners with a £30,000 clean-up bill.

Thompson, who admitted three offences of breaching environmental regulations, said his offending was due to foolishness and naivety rather than a deliberate attempt to benefit.

Devoy, who admitted breaching environmental regulations, said he was involved over a short period of time, with minimal benefit, made no profit and was in significant debt.

He was given a £1,000 fine, ordered to pay £1,000 costs and told to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.