80-year-old man jailed for ignoring court order to remove waste


Exeter illegal waste

An 80-year-old man has been jailed for ignoring a court order to remove 7,000 tonnes of waste from farmland in Exeter.

Roger Baker, 80, was convicted in August 2018 of dumping 7,514 tonnes of waste at Pynes Farm, Exeter and ordered to remove it all to a permitted site by September 2019. However, in a case brought by the Environment Agency, Exeter magistrates heard that five years on, Baker had still not removed any of the waste.

The Environment Agency said an officer went to the site in January 2024 and found all the waste still in place with “little sign Baker had any intention of complying”.

After pleading guilty to failing to comply with the notice to remove the waste to a permitted site, Exeter magistrates sentenced Baker to six weeks’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay £4,731 in costs. The court also said it expects Baker to remove the waste after he is released.

Following the hearing, Richard Tugwell, an environment officer for the Environment Agency, said Baker showed a “flagrant disregard” for the environment.

In 2016, Baker disposed of 7,514 tonnes of inert waste on the farmland at Poltimore, Exeter under the guise of “drainage” works. The Environment Agency said this amount of waste far exceeded what was permitted and Baker also didn’t secure planning permission from Devon County Council.

The waste, from development sites around Exeter, was used to level off a significant part of the site, altering the character of the field and that of the surrounding landscape, the Environment Agency said.

In 2018, Baker was fined £1,710 and ordered to pay £4,946 costs after pleading guilty to an offence under Reg 38 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

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