Halifax man jailed for failing to pay £78,000 order

Industrial waste tip at Farrar Mill Yard, Farrar Mill Lane, Siddal.
Industrial waste tip at Farrar Mill Yard, Farrar Mill Lane, Siddal.

A Halifax man has been jailed for 20 months for failing to pay a £78,000 confiscation order relating to the financial benefit he obtained through illegal waste activities.

David Christopher Turner, 55, of Farrar Mill Lane, Siddal, was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

Sarah Middleton, representing the Environment Agency, told the court that Turner was ordered in July last year to pay £78,000 following a conviction for waste crime offences.

Turner was prosecuted for breaching environmental permitting regulations in his operation of a waste transfer site at Farrar Mill. He stored too much waste on the site, which breached his environmental permit, a legally-required licence that is designed to reduce risk to the environment.

The Environment Agency eventually suspended his permit, but Turner continued to operate at the site illegally. An order to remove combustible waste from the site was also ignored.

For this offence, Turner was handed a 12-month suspended jail term at Bradford Crown Court in May 2012 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. At a later hearing, in July 2014, this court also ordered him to pay a £78,000 confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Turner was given six months to pay by the court and ordered to serve 20 months imprisonment if he failed to pay. But since the order was made, just £2,400 has been paid - less than the accrued interest on the amount. In total, he still owes £78,757.15.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Waste operations of this nature can potentially cause harm to the environment and local communities. That’s why it is vital that waste businesses manage their facilities in compliance with environmental permitting regulations.

“As a regulator of waste sites, the Environment Agency seeks to advise and give guidance to businesses to bring their operations in line with the rules. But when repeated or significant breaches are seen, enforcement action will be taken.

“Anyone who experiences problems from a waste site should report the matter to our incident hotline on 0800 807060.”