By Denna Bowman
A company director who raked in more than £325,000 by illegally dumping tyres on council land illegally escaped with a lighter court sentence because his business had closed down.
Edward O’Neill pleaded guilty to illegally dumping and shredding tyres on vacant land owned by Nottinghamshire County Council.
The 57-year-old director of Robin Hood Environmental Ltd received a two year conditional discharge and was ordered to £1,500.
David Brown, lead officer for the Environment Agency’s investigation, said after last week’s sentencing: “It is important that sites comply with the rules and regulations. Where companies choose to ignore these rules we will take action through the courts.
“We have worked together with our partners in Mansfield District Council to show that neither organisation will allow companies to threaten the environment or place the public at risk.
“Had this company still being in existence the penalties would have been far greater. Other companies and individuals should take careful note of this and follow the rules.”
The court heard that O’Neill’s company owned and operated the waste disposal site in Warsop, which was next to a vacant county council plot of land.
Environment Agency inspectors told him on visits to the site he was unlawfully storing tyres and needed a waste management licence for the council-owned land. He was asked to remove the tyres but never complied.
O’Neill told agency officers he believed he owned the land, tyres had been deposited there for more than 20 years and the land was licensed.
He made no attempt to get a licence for the site, which was destroyed in a massive fire in 2009.
In mitigation Tim Green said O’Neill had been misled by a surveyors’ report mistakenly showing his company owned the council land.
But, he admitted the defendant had failed to take any steps to remove the tyres when he had been informed of this error.