Extended sentence shows waste crime gets jail time

A repeated fly-tipper, already serving time in jail for waste crimes, has had his sentence extended after further allegations came to light.

Patrick Joseph Egan, 30, pleaded guilty to three charges of fly-tipping on 8 October at Basildon Crown Court. After dumping waste on three separate occasions using a lorry at sites not permitted to accept the waste, he was disqualified from driving and accepted two further charges of ‘knowingly causing’ the deposit of waste at two other locations.

Already serving a prison sentence for fly-tipping in Beckton, East London, a further two weeks have been added for each of Egan’s five new offences.

Waste dumped on the streets of London
Waste dumped on the streets of London

Egan’s vehicle was seen dumping waste on 4 October 2017 in front of two eyewitnesses on an industrial estate in West Thurrock. Later that same day, his vehicle offloaded waste at Anglian Water Pumping Station and again outside Tilda Ltd in Rainham, in front of another two separate witnesses. Whilst the driver couldn’t be identified, because the vehicle is registered in Egan’s name, he is still held responsible.

Similar events unfolded the following day on 5 October; Egan himself was caught on camera driving the same vehicle and depositing a pile of waste outside the closed gates of Barking Power Station. The final event occurred on 18 October, when Egan dumped waste at the same Motherwell Way West Thurrock Industrial Estate, again in front of two eyewitnesses.

At each location, landlords had to remove Egan’s waste at their own expense. Lesley Robertson, Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency (EA), commented: “Mr Egan seems to have had little regard for these people, the public at large or the environment. He was disqualified from driving at the time but dumped lorry loads of waste across Essex and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and allowed his vehicle to used for the same purpose by others.”

On 20 October, Egan was stopped by Essex police and his vehicle, which was carrying waste, was seized.

Robertson continued: “Fly-tipping is a blight on the countryside. When the amount of waste tipped is this significant, it is not just an eyesore or a huge inconvenience for those whose land have been dumped on, it is waste crime. Waste criminals undermine legitimate businesses, often leaving those dumped on to foot the clean-up.”

Fly-tipping is a nationwide problem, but London in particular is struggling with waste crime. Levels of fly-tipping within the capital have increased to an all time high, with the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy finding that that one in five Londoners have disposed of their waste through fly-tipping over the last two years. As a result, local authorities in London have collectively spent an overwhelming total of £18.5 million cleaning up waste.

Egan also had a previous conviction for carrying waste without a waste carriers licence in January 2017, yet he continued to carry waste illegally throughout 2017. As Robertson pointed out after the hearing: “Anyone who transports or disposes of waste has a Duty of Care to ensure waste is handled correctly and taken to a legitimate permitted facility. Businesses and individuals must check that the person taking away their waste is registered to do so. Egan was not.”

If you witness waste crime, don’t hesitate to call the EA’s incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60, or anonymously report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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