Father of man jailed for waste crime fined up to £1 million
The investigation by the Environment Agency (EA) found that Skip-hire boss Raymond Shepherd benefited from illegal waste disposal activities of almost £1 million, and will be forced to pay back the full amount, should he come into any future assets.
His son, Tony Shepherd, was jailed for three years in May 2016 after failing to pay a fine of £350,000, which he received as a penalty for illegally operating two waste sites.
Mr Shepherd and his company, Albert Hill Skip Hire Ltd, operated an illegal waste transfer station at Whessoe Road in Darlington between July 2008 and May 2010. He ran a similar operation at a premises on Dodsworth Street, with two major fires occurring on site. He also received multiple enforcement notices and a suspension notice between 2010 and 2012, which he failed to comply with.
Appearing at Teesside Crown Court in 2013, Mr Shepherd received a jail sentence of 18 months and was disqualified from being a company director for 10 years. The charges brought against him were for operating a waste facility without a permit, depositing waste without a permit and failing to comply with a suspension notice.
Following conviction, the EA began proceedings to recover a financial sum that suitably reflected his profits from the illegal activities. At a confiscation hearing on Thursday 23 February, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Shepherd was ordered to pay back £14,000 worth of available assets, which could increase should he come into future assets, up to the full amount of £980,207. If he fails to pay, he could receive a prison sentence up to six months.
Debt for life
Oliver Harmar, Area Director for the EA in the North East, said: “This is a debt that will follow Raymond Shepherd around for the rest of his life. It sends out a message to the industry that waste crime does not pay and not only will we hit people with court action but we’ll then hit them in the pocket.
“Shepherd’s illegal waste operations were carried out in the interests of profit, unfortunately at the expense of the environment. Not to mention by not complying with regulations, he undermined legitimate businesses.”
The sentence comes as the result of a large-scale investigation carried out by the EA, working alongside local authorities, police and fire services. Operation Bachelor began in 2008 and has resulted in the conviction of two other men as well as Mr Shepherd’s son.
Harmar added: “It’s been an extensive and long-running investigation by our officers and shows just how seriously we take waste crime. We’ll continue to take action against those operating outside of the law and the regulations.”
More information about how the EA investigates waste crime can be found in Resource’s feature article.