By Denna Bowman
A judge has sparked outrage by fining a fly-tipper, who amassed a £2.5 million fortune illegally dumping tyres, just £122.
The 33-year-old caused an estimated £500,000 in damage to the environment while dumping around a million tyres at sites around the UK.
However, he escaped with a 15 month jail sentence, from which he was released after serving less than a third, and yesterday he was ordered by a judge at Lincoln Crown Court to pay back just a tiny fraction of his ill-gotten fortune.
Carl Steele raked in an estimated £2.5 million fortune charging companies and individuals to dispose of their unwanted tyres in five different counties, according to the report in the Daily Mail.
He pleaded guilty to six charges relating to the illegal storage and treatment of waste tyres after it was revealed at his trial in November that he was able to undercut his competitors by dumping illegally, avoiding an 80 pence per tyre charge.
The penalty has outraged environmentally campaigners.
Peter Steward, a member of the Crouch Conservation Trust which spent hours fishing fly-tipped tyres out of the protected Rover Crouch in Essex, described the decision as ‘ridiculous’.
He said: “He’s certainly been illegally dumping an enormous number of tyres, We were over the moon when he was finally caught and it looked as though the Environment Agency was taking this crime seriously.
“However, it’s absolutely ridiculous they can only get such a small amount of money back. They need to investigate it further to find out where all the money has gone. Dumping tyres, whether it’s in a river or on land, causes major pollution.”