Director Not a ‘Merry Man’ Following Tyre Dumping Sentencing
Robin Hood is arguably Britain’s best loved criminal figure, his dealings with the rich abundantly forgiven by his generosity to the poor. But if Robin had engaged in a far less noble crime – dumping tyres, for example – we probably would have viewed him very differently. A director from Robin Hood Environmental Ltd learned this lesson the hard way upon pleading guilty to three charges relating to the illegal dumping, keeping and shredding of tyres.
According to the Environment Agency, Robin Hood Environmental traded under the directorship of one Edward O’Neill from Melton Mowbray, and the company operated a site in Warsop. Conveniently located adjacent to the Warsop waste disposal site was a vacant plot of land owned by Nottinghamshire County Council. The council owned land did not have a waste management licence yet the defendant took possession of it and illegally used the land as a waste disposal site by depositing, keeping and treating waste tyres on site. The Environmental Agency calculates O’Neill’s earnings from the use of the council’s land to be in excess of £325,000.
Regular site inspections from the Environment Agency began in January 2007 and O’Neill was advised he was unlawfully storing tyres on unlicensed land. He was also asked to remove tyres from the land, a request that went unheeded. No waste management licence for the land was ever obtained or applied for. An end to the dumping came courtesy of a fire at the site which broke out on May 29, 2009 and required the presence of Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Services until June 3.
“It is important that sites comply with the rules and regulations,” commented David Brown, lead officer for the Environment Agency’s investigation. “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.” O’Neill’s defence counsel said his client had been misled by a surveyors’ report that erroneously showed the land to belong to his company.
O’Neill was sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge and was instructed to contribute £1,500 to the prosecution costs. This penalty was agreed upon as Robin Hood Environmental Ltd is in liquidation and O’Neill now dependant on benefits.