Waste crimes man, jailed

Springwood Trading Ltd, Springwood Mill, Pudsey Road, Cornholme
Springwood Trading Ltd, Springwood Mill, Pudsey Road, Cornholme

A Mytholmroyd man who was wanted for waste crimes in Todmorden has been sentenced to 25-months in jail.

Environment Agency investigations, in 2010 and 2012, found that Mark Eric Butterworth’s company, Springwood Trading, was operating a waste transfer station at its Pudsey Road site without an environmental permit or planning permission.

Mr Kingsley Osuagwu, left, project co-ordinator with Helping Hands International, and Mr Mark Butterworth, right, of Springwood Trading, Todmorden, February 2007. Pic by John Greenwood.

Mr Kingsley Osuagwu, left, project co-ordinator with Helping Hands International, and Mr Mark Butterworth, right, of Springwood Trading, Todmorden, February 2007. Pic by John Greenwood.

Covert surveillance revealed waste being taken to and handled at Springwood Mill, where there is no permit in place for waste management.

Environment Agency officers also found waste being illegally stored at Eldon Street, Todmorden, in October 2010. Skips of waste were stored on public streets so they wouldn’t be seen being transported in and out of Springwood Mill.

The court heard the company saved around £55,000 by avoiding permit application fees, subsistence fees, and installation of protective infrastructure.

Butterworth, 51, owner and director of Springwood Mill land and firm, admitted two counts of knowingly permitting the operation of a waste facility without an appropriate environmental permit. He was found guilty of four counts of operating a regulated facility without a permit, three counts of depositing controlled waste, and one count of failing to provide waste transfer notes after being served notice to do so.

Butterworth had denied running the firm, claiming that he had not been actively involved with the running of the company at the time of offences. But key paperwork relating to the company’s operation was found in his bedroom. He also told the court that he had no money to clear the waste from the site.

Butterworth received a suspended prison sentence in May 2010 of operating a waste transfer station on the same land during 2007 without a permit. That sentence was activated today by the court, along with an additional month’s imprisonment for failing to previously attend court.