Prison for failing to pay the full fine

A MAN was sentenced to ten days in prison after failing to fully pay back £2,000 he owed to the Environment Agency.

On March 21, Leeds magistrates heard that Mark Butterworth, 50, of Gladstone Buildings, Mytholmroyd, had £635.15 left to pay on an amount he was told to pay for running an illegal waste site near Todmorden.

Butterworth, who admitted the waste offence and was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, by Bradford Crown Court in May 2010, was told to pay back the £2,000 sum, which had been acquired through the illegal activity.

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.

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.“

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 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.