Company director sentenced for waste offences

As reported by Environmental agency Nicolas Scarsbrook, director of Stow Skips Limited appeared at Gloucester Crown Court and was disqualified from acting as a company director for 5 years. The court ordered Mr Scarsbrook to pay £35,000 compensation to the landowner and carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. Stow Skips Limited was also fined £20,000.

Mr Scarsbrook pleaded guilty to 1 charge of failing to store waste in accordance with the environmental permit held for Westington Quarry in Chipping Campden, and 2 charges of operating a waste operation without the necessary permit, one charge relating to an alternative site. The charges were brought against Stow Skips Ltd, Evesham, and also against Mr Scarsbrook as an individual in his capacity as the director of the company.

Offences at the Chipping Camden site

Stow Skip Ltd was granted an environmental permit to operate a household, commercial and industrial waste management facility at their site at Westington Quarry in Chipping Campden. The landowner received concerning reports regarding the condition of the site. He took back possession of the site and instructed a land agent to enforce the eviction of the company. Upon their initial inspection the land agent found large piles of wood and inert waste stored on the ground outside the main building, along with piles of asbestos, baled waste, loose tyres and 13 intermediate bulk containers containing hazardous liquid waste being stored outside the permitted area.

Following the repossession of the Westington Quarry site Environment Agency officers also found 18 skips full of mixed waste at another site, some including metal containers with a fuel odour, soils and insulation materials. The site, an old builders yard, was being operated without the necessary environmental permit.

Comments during the sentencing hearing

In passing sentence His Honour Judge Michael Cullum found that the offences were committed deliberately and the defendant had flagrantly disregarded the law. In mitigation the defence stated that the defendant was dyslexic and left school with minimal qualifications. He branched out from his trade as a ground worker and started the skip hire company, with a throughput waste operation running from the site at Westington Quarry. There had been considerable loss to the defendant by the failure of Stow Skips Limited and he had recently had a child, who is now only 4 weeks old. The defence also asked the court to have regard to the age of the offences, as they were now some 3 years old.

Speaking after the case the Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said:

Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties as it can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally. This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to prosecute individuals when they do not abide by the law.