A Northamptonshire man, who was jailed in January following a decade of waste offences, continues to be ordered this week to pay £12,500 in costs and £140 in victim surcharge.
In addition, he was handed a remediation order to clear the land where the offences happened by January 2022. This could, according to the Environment Agency, cost a further £750,000.
It follows a hearing earlier this year that saw Stephen Lack, 68, of Monkton Sidings, Corby, given an 18 month prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to breaching environmental laws over a lengthy period of time.
Lack, trading as Abbey Skips, had repeatedly stockpiled waste on a site at Monkton Sidings, Fineshade. He was without the necessary permits that would have ensured precautions were taken to protect people and nature from harm.
Here he burned and buried waste rather than disposing of it lawfully at authorised waste sites. These actions risked contaminating nearby woods and farmland, caused odours and toxic smoke, and may have attracted large quantities of flies and vermin.
Lack had been administered a six-month suspended sentence in 2021 for disregarding what the law states, despite being warned repeatedly by Environment Agency officers about his activities. However, his illegal burning activities increased during lockdown, in breach of his bail condition, leading to his subsequent prosecution and imprisonment.
Yvonne Daly, Environment Manager in the Environment Agency, said: “It’s our responsibility to regulate waste activity to make sure it doesn’t put people or even the environment at risk.
“This case is a shocking example of an individual driven by profit blatantly ignoring their responsibilities. He put people and nature in harm’s way and tried to undercut legitimate businesses.
“The custodial sentence together with significant costs reflects the degree of the crime. We hope it serves as a warning to others. We won’t hesitate to take action against those flout the rules.”