Polluter jailed for three months for burning waste
A man has been sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay £900 in costs after being found guilty of dumping and burning controlled waste near an electricity pylon in Watford.
Nathan Reg John Jordan, also known as Nathan Jordan Jr, 22, was first convicted of the crime at St Albans Magistrates Court in September, but last week (17 December) received sentencing from St Albans Crown Court.
His Honour Judge Warner sentenced the Wendover man to a three-month custodial sentence and ordered him to pay £900 towards clean-up costs after he illegally deposited controlled waste (including asbestos) at Oxhey Lane in Watford and disposed of it by burning. Jordan was also found to be illegally operating a waste transfer station without an environmental permit.
The courts hear that Jordan, and co-defendant Jack Bunning, 21, trespassed on land behind The Paddock at Little Oxhey Lane in Watford, illegally brought controlled waste (including asbestos sheets) onto the site, and disposed of it by burning.
The activity was brought to light after a Safer Neighbourhood Police Officer saw a bright orange flat bed truck marked ‘Ashbourne Tree Care’ fly-tipping waste at the site in March 2012.
CCTV surveillance cameras were subsequently set up, and on 24 and 25 June 2013 captured numerous still photos and videos of Jordan depositing controlled waste (see CCTV picture above)on the site and setting fire to it. Bunning was also seen at the site on 28 June 2013 using a yellow Ford Transit flat bed truck, registered in his name, to fly-tip waste as well throwing waste into material that was already ablaze.
On 5 July 2013, Environment Agency (EA) officers attended the scene and found that the surveillance recording equipment was missing, and that waste, including asbestos roofing sheets, was alight on site. Further evidence of dumping and burning at the site was said to be ‘clearly visible’, and the fire service had been called out on more than one occasion.
On 17 July 2013 Jordan was arrested at the premises in front of the site where he lived with his family, and more land was found showing signs that a significant quantity of waste had been burned on it.
EA officers took soil samples from the site and found that not only had the soil quality deteriorated in the areas where burning had taken place, but that there were contaminants in the soil which ‘had potential to harm the local water environment’.
The courts were told that Jordan was the main instigator of the waste activities at the site, and as such, his co-defendant, Bunning, received a three-month community service order (with a curfew between 8pm and 5am), and was ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £3,725.
‘Environmental crime will not be tolerated’
Speaking after the sentencing, Matt Robinson, Intelligence Officer at the Environment Agency, said: “The wanton dumping and burning of controlled waste are serious offences which can pollute the environment. Both defendants tried to save money by flouting the law but these illegal actions cost them dearly by this prosecution.
“The sentences set by the court send out a clear message that waste operators must ensure that they operate legally and that environmental crime will not be tolerated.”
PC Dan Jones from the Oxhey Safer Neighbourhood Team at Hertfordshire Constabulary added: “Tackling fly-tipping became a priority for police in the South Oxhey and Carpenders Park area, because of the impact it was having on the local community.
“We suspect this activity was taking place for a long period of time, and due to the scale and sheer size of the fly tipping we contacted the Environment Agency to assist.
“I am pleased that Jordan and Bunning have faced justice for this and it serves as a warning to others that we will work with partner agencies to identify offenders and bring them to justice.”
Find out more about the cost of waste crime.