Three men dumped vast piles of rub­bish il­le­gally

Western Mail - - NEWS - Liz Day Re­porter­

More than 2,000 tonnes of waste in­clud­ing 30ft-high heaps of wood and stacks of mat­tresses were left aban­doned at an in­dus­trial es­tate.

Michael Hendy, Nathan Thomas and Vic­tor Ke­seru each ad­mit­ted their role in il­le­gally dump­ing huge quan­ti­ties of waste at the site in Cow­bridge and were sen­tenced at Cardiff Crown Court.

Open­ing the case, pros­e­cu­tor Tim Evans said: “This case arises out of the il­le­gal de­posit of vast amounts of waste.”

The court heard the of­fend­ing oc­curred at Llandow Trad­ing Es­tate, in Cow­bridge, be­tween Novem­ber 2014 and June 2015.

Around 1,500 tonnes of wood and wood­chip were found there, along with more than 330 tonnes of mat­tresses com­pacted into bales.

Prose­cu­tors said the wood was stacked 30ft high in places and judged by South Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice as a “se­ri­ous fire risk”.

The court heard the mat­tresses were left out­side and also filled a ware­house from floor to ceil­ing.

Mr Evans said the waste was left un­pro­cessed and ef­fec­tively aban­doned on the site, op­er­ated by Hendy, who did not have the nec­es­sary per­mits or full per­mis­sion from the landowner.

An en­vi­ron­ment of­fi­cer from Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales, which reg­u­lates waste op­er­a­tors, vis­ited the site in 2014 and told Hendy his ac­tions were il­le­gal. But he ig­nored the guid­ance and started dump­ing waste in two more ad­ja­cent yards.

Prose­cu­tors said he charged £40 per tonne to dump chem­i­cally treated wood that had been used in con­struc­tion, with­out any thought about what was go­ing to hap­pen to it.

The court heard he re­ceived £60,000 for the 1,500 tonnes of waste wood, which would have cost £170,000 to dis­pose of legally.

Thomas and Ke­seru worked in part­ner­ship at Brid­gend-based En­vik Re­cy­cling Ser­vices, col­lect­ing old mat­tresses, sell­ing the metal springs for scrap. David Sedg­wick, rep­re­sent­ing Ke­seru, said: “The two of them ended up with more mat­tresses than they could deal with.”

The court heard they paid Hendy £5,000 in cash to take the mat­tresses.

Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales is­sued all three de­fen­dants with en­force­ment no­tices ask­ing them to re­move the waste, but they did not com­ply.

Prose­cu­tors said the waste, which poses an en­vi­ron­men­tal risk, is still at the site two and a half years later.

Hendy, 49, from Gwilyn Place in Barry, ad­mit­ted dis­pos­ing of con­trolled waste in a man­ner likely to cause pol­lu­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment or harm to hu­man health.

He also ad­mit­ted op­er­at­ing a reg­u­lated fa­cil­ity for the dis­posal of waste with­out an en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit.

Mr Evans said: “The prose­cu­tion case is he took the money and ran.”

Nick Gedge, de­fend­ing Hendy, said he started with the right in­ten­tions but “went awry”. The court heard Hendy is un­em­ployed, so no or­der was made for com­pen­sa­tion or costs. Judge Michael Fit­ton QC jailed him for 10 months.

Thomas, 47, from Merthyr Mawr Road in Brid­gend, ad­mit­ted dis­pos­ing of mat­tresses with­out an en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit.

Nigel Fryer, de­fend­ing, said: “He apol­o­gises pro­fusely.”

Ke­seru, 48, from Shake­speare Road in Barry, ad­mit­ted the same of­fence as Thomas.

Both were given a six-month jail term, sus­pended for two years, or­dered to carry out 225 hours of un­paid work, and given a six-month cur­few. They must each pay £26,040 in com­pen­sa­tion, plus £6,500 in costs and an £80 vic­tim sur­charge.

> The huge quan­ti­ties of dumped waste at Llandow Trad­ing Es­tate, Cow­bridge

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