Mytholmroyd man who set up illegal waste site is jailed for failing to pay fine

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A Mytholmroyd man has been sentenced to ten days in prison after failing to pay back £2,000 after he was prosecuted by the Environment Agency for running an illegal waste site near Todmorden.

Mark Butterworth, 50, of Gladstone Buildings, Mytholmroyd, admitted the waste offence and was given an eight month prison sentence suspended for 12 months by Bradford Crown Court in May 2010.

But the defendant was back at Bradford Crown Court again a year later where he was told to pay back £2,000 which had been acquired through his illegal activity.

However, yesterday Leeds magistrates heard that nearly two years on from the original offence, he still had £635.15 left to pay, and was jailed for ten days.

The case was brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act following a financial investigation into the profit which Butterworth made from his crimes.

It found the only property of financial worth which belonged to the defendant was several waste skips and as a result, the court ordered that Butterworth hand over the value of the skips.

In the original court case, Butterworth admitted 11 charges in relation to the unlicensed waste transfer station at Springwood Mill in Pudsey Road, Cornholme, between February 2007 and January 2008.

As well as his suspended sentence he was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and he was made subject of a curfew between 10pm and 6am for three months.

Butterworth was also bound over for 12 months in the sum of £1,000 to keep the peace, with the warning not to bring or store waste on the site.

The Environment Agency took the action after receiving complaints about the site.

It wrote in February 2004 to Springwood Trading Limited which was run by Butterworth, warning that waste activities at Springwood Mill were illegal.

In August 2006 the Environment Agency was informed that a planning application for a waste transfer station at Springwood Mill had been refused.

An environment officer wrote to Springwood Trading Limited, warning that a waste management licence could not be issued until planning permission was granted and no waste transfer activities were permitted without a licence.

Environment officers observed numerous breaches of environmental legislation throughout 2007 and 2008.

In November 2008 the Environment Agency served notice on Butterworth and the company, giving a month to clear the site, which did not happen.

Speaking after the case, Environment Agency environmental crime officer Mark Parker said: “Not only do we use environmental law to prosecute those who abuse the environment but we also use the Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activity. This case sends out the clear message that we will pursue anyone who tries to evade their environmental responsibilities. “