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June 5, 2023

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Two jailed and a third sentenced for storing material at a waste site illegally

Two men have been jailed and a third sentenced after the Environment Agency found they were storing material at a waste site illegally.

Thomas Todd, Jamie Todd and Bryan Walker stored waste in a way that broke a number of fire regulations at the former Bowman’s Site, in Skegness, Lincolnshire near the A52.

The offences were committed between June 2015 and April 2017 and last month Thomas and Jamie Todd were both sentenced to eight months in prison and were disqualified from acting as a director of a business for five years.

Bryan Walker was given a 12-month community order with 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement Days. He was also disqualified from acting as a director of a business for five years and ordered to pay £60 as a victim surcharge.

Yvonne Daly, an Environment Manager at the Environment Agency said: “Waste crime is serious because it causes widespread and significant harm: to people, places, the economy, to law and order, and to the environment.

“Any breaches of environmental permits and illegal waste activity are taken very seriously. We will take the necessary action to disrupt criminal activity and prosecute those responsible.

“We support businesses trying to do the right thing and genuinely comply, but we will issue enforcement notices, and use our regulatory powers when appropriate.

“The defendants were told to remove waste and ensure safety on the site on numerous occasions but failed to do so.”

At Leeds Crown Court Thomas Todd, 33, of Hunt Street, Castleford pleaded guilty to three counts and Jamie Todd, 42, of Wakefield Road, Drighlington, Leeds pleaded guilty to four counts.

They both had a previous suspended prison sentence for very similar environmental offences.

Bryan Walker, 60, of Beckhill Vale, Leeds pleaded guilty to five counts. 

The charges were brought after East Coast Recycling Properties Ltd, run by Jamie and Thomas Todd, were permitted to process mixed waste with a view to extracting recyclable materials.

A ‘fire risk’ too close to residential area

Environment Agency inspections found no fire prevention plan in place for the site, which was surrounded by arable land and the nearest residential premises were only 10meters away.
It also found waste being stacked too high and too closely together, creating a fire risk, a health risk following an influx of mice and a problem with flies and no firebreaks between the waste, creating a further fire risk.

The company’s permit was suspended on two occasions before a new company – Eco Green Logistics Limited – registered an exemption to start waste work on another section of the Bowman’s site, with Bryan Walker as the registered director of the company.

The company also allowed too much waste into this section of the site leading to waste being stored unsafely and presenting a fire risk.

Despite reassurances that waste would no longer be brought onto Bowman’s, the Environment Agency continued to find evidence of new waste being brought onto the land. 

The Environmental permit for the site was revoked fully in March 2017.

Speaking at the case, Judge Batiste said fire safeguards at the site has been “non-existent” and that the defendants had “flagrantly breached environmental law”.

He added that if any part of the site had caught fire “it is highly unlikely it could have been contained”.

The judge said Bryan Walker’s actions had been “wholly reckless”.

A Proceeds of Crime Act Enquiry will be carried out for the Todd brothers in due course.

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