Two men guilty of illegal dumping
TWO men who admitted illegally dumping waste in the middle of the night at a site near Dublin Airport have been given suspended sentences of less than a year.
Patrick Murphy (35) of Abbeyleigh Avenue, Swords, and Gavrila Puscas (57) of Richmond Avenue Dublin 3 pleaded guilty earlier this year to dumping two skip-loads of mixed waste at a vacant site at Turnapin, Cloughran, Santry on the night of May 14/15, 2015.
Passing judgement at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Petria Mcdonnell said illegal dumping was ‘odious’ and ‘a blight on the landscape of this country’.
She sentenced Murphy to nine months suspended, and Puscas to six months suspended, but indicated she would have imposed tougher sentences had she not been constrained by the sentence imposed earlier this year on the men’s employer, Wayne O’hare.
The court heard that co-accused Wayne O’hare (33) of Hastings Court, Balbriggan is the former owner and director of W K Waste Ltd. He was given a one-year suspended sentence in April of this year by Judge Patricia Ryan.
W K Waste Ltd has since gone into liquidation, but used to operate from a facility at Ballyboggan Business Centre, Ballyboggan Rd, Glasnevin, Dublin 11.
The court heard that Murphy had begun working on a JobBridge scheme with W K Waste Ltd a few weeks before the offence, while Pucas had begun work as a truck driver with the firm two days previously.
Patsy Winters, a Waste Enforcement Officer with Dublin City Council, told prosecuting barrister Dara Hayes BL that she carried out surveillance at the waste facility on the night in question.
Ms Winters said she saw a truck leaving WK Waste shortly before midnight carrying a large, industrial-sized skip, and drive around the back of Dublin Airport.
The gardaí followed the truck and saw it dump a load at a large, vacant site at Turnapin, Cloughran, before returning to the waste facility and then dumping a second load at Turnapin.
The court heard that there was already extensive dumping at the site, some of it of a historical nature.
Gardaí arrived and arrested the two men, who cooperated fully and pointed to the two loads they had dumped, comprising of plastic, textiles, green waste, soil and demolition waste, tyres and other bulky material.
The court heard that O’hare had paid a third party €1,000 to be allowed to dump waste at Turnapin, and had given keys of the W K Waste facility to Murphy on the night.
Waste enforcement officials visited the dump site six weeks later and were satisfied that the illegally-dumped waste had been removed.
Neither Murphy nor Puscas, a Romanian national who’s been in Ireland since 2001, have any previous convictions.
Paul Carroll SC, defending Murphy, said his client had started working with W K Waste on a Jobbridge scheme on the understanding that it was more of an office job.
When asked by O’hare to bring the driver to the dump site on the night in question, he agreed ‘in order to impress’ his boss.
Mr Carroll said Murphy left the employ W K Waste Ltd shortly afterwards and began working in sales for another company, but is no longer working for them because of personal matters.
The court heard Murphy lived with his mother who died earlier this year, and had recently split up with his partner with whom he has two children.
Miranda Egan-langley BL, defending Puscas, said her client was hired as a driver and had very limited knowledge and understanding of his role, having never previously worked in the waste industry.
She said Puscas had worked as a truck driver until he lost his job in 2009 due to the economic downturn.
Ms Egan-langley presented a letter from a former employer of Puscas and said her client had had no problems with previous work, and ‘would never have dreamed’ of doing something illegal.
The court heard that Puscas was a married father-of-two, and a letter from his parish priest outlined his good character and integrity.
Judge Mcdonnell suspended both sentences for a period of 12 months.
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