Lorry driver locked up over ‘largest fly-tipping incident in Suffolk’
PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 February 2019
MID SUFFOLK AND BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL
A 57-year-old lorry driver who was responsible for the largest incident of fly-tipping in Suffolk has been jailed for 15 months.
Sentencing Nigel Roberts at Ipswich Crown Court, Recorder Richard Christie described the amount of plastic waste that he dumped on two separate areas of farmland more than 30 miles apart as “horrific”.
“We all know how significant the effect plastic waste can have and that it can get in animals’ food chains and into their stomachs and can get wrapped round their bodies,” said the judge.
“I’ve seen pictures of it and it does seem to be an horrific amount of plastic that you dumped and I can only assume you did it for financial gain,” he added.
Roberts was convicted by magistrates in October of depositing controlled waste on concrete sugar beet pads at farms in Walsham-le-Willows and Acton in 2015.
Roberts had denied both charges but failed to attend a trial in October and was convicted under the Environmental Protection Act in his absence, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Roberts, of Grenville Road, Sudbury, dumped 15 tonnes of plastic waste at Sunnyside Farms, Walsham-le-Willows, on April 8, 2015, and another 13.5 tonnes of similar material at Cuckoo Tye Farm, Acton, two weeks later on April 23.
Stephen Rose, prosecuting on behalf of Mid Suffolk District Council, said the fly-tipping by Roberts was the most significant to have taken place in Suffolk.
He said both deposits of waste originated from the same source and were each transported in a vehicle belonging to Roberts’ employer, but without their knowledge or permission.
The first incident was witnessed at night by a neighbour of Sunnyside Farms, who saw a truck drive away at speed, carrying a skip with an unfastened drop door.
The cost of clearing the waste came to £5,129.78 in Walsham-le-Willows and £2,650 in Acton.
David Stewart for Roberts said there hadn’t been any water or air pollution as a result of the illegal dumping.
He said Roberts’ employer would be happy to have him back at work when he was released from custody.
The 57-year-old had spent the last three months in custody, Mr Stewart added, which was the equivalent of a six month sentence.