Suspended sentences for men who ran unauthorised waste site


Two Luton men who operated a waste site without an environmental permit have been sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Both men pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to operating a skip hire business trading as McGowan’s Skip Hire at Gravenhurst Road, Silsoe, Bedfordshire.

On Tuesday Mark Christopher Blench, 42, of Hollybush Road was also fined £3,000 and ordered to pay a contribution of £5,000 towards prosecution costs.

Kevin Peter McWilliams, 32, of Cornel Close, was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.

Mrs Anne-Lise McDonald, prosecuting for the Environment Agency at Luton Crown Court said Blench brought back large quantities of waste and deposited and sorted it at the site but was only authorised to transport waste.

McWilliams moved waste on the site and sorted and disposed of waste by burning.

On 6 May 2014, they pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court and were convicted of one offence of carrying out waste operations without the required environmental permit between 17 September 2012 and 4 April 2013.

Mr Ged Colbon, for Blench, said he was ‘out of his depth’ and what he did was ‘not sophisticated’.

Ms Minal Raj, for McWilliams, said he was regretful of his conduct and showed remorse.

After the hearing Environment Agency officer Sarah Melvin said: “Our specialist Environmental Crime Teams have the skills and determination to tackle serious criminals and ensure that waste crime doesn’t pay.

“We need to tackle waste crime to ensure a level playing field for legitimate business and to protect the environment.”

Judge Stuart Bridge said: “The defendants led the officers a merry dance over six months.

“They ignored advice and gave false names making the officers’ tasks more difficult.

“They knew what they were doing was illegal and had a history of non-compliance with warnings.

“Blench gained financially.”