A case that has taken the Environment Agency (EA) three years to bring to prosecution has resulted in Nottingham Crown Court ordering £121,520 penalty paid.
Local criminals and landowner pleaded guilty to a number charges brought by the EA for illegal waste site operations in Nottinghamshire, resulting the Court ordering £121,520 be paid.
Concluding at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday 22 November, Bloom (Plant) Limited was fined a total of £21,000 and ordered to pay £25,000.
The company was also ordered to pay a further £25,000 following an application made by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), reflecting financial benefit obtained as a consequence of their criminal conduct.
Environment Agency – “This case has taken nearly three years to bring to prosecution, but it shows that we will pursue environmental criminals for as long as it takes. Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties. It can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally”
John Kevin Bloom was fined £13,500, ordered to pay £20,000 in costs and £5,000 POCA. Ricard James Morris was fined £4,000, ordered to pay £1,000 in costs and £1,000 POCA. Michael Bowness was fined £2,500, ordered to pay £2,500 in costs and £1,020 POCA.
Additionally the Police had seized over £44,000 as a cash seizure from the home address of John Kelvin Bloom on the day of a joint raid by the Environment Agency and the Police.
The charges were brought by the Environment Agency the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2007 and 2010.
The court was told by prosecuting counsel Chris Badger, that this case concerned the commercial operation of illegal waste sites for between 2009 and 2011. Bloom (Plant) Ltd, Worksop Waste Services Ltd, John Kelvin Bloom and Richard Morris were involved in repeated illegal burning of controlled waste which caused disruption to local residents, posed human health risks and caused pollution to the environment.
Bloom Plant Limited (BPL), tendered for and won a demolition contract at the former Dormer Tools site off Shireoaks Road, Worksop. They used this site as a base for an illegal waste transfer station and for burning waste.
The defence argued this was not a case involving significant or lasting damage to the environment, nor had any clean-up costs been borne by the public.
Other mitigation factors included previous good character of the defendants, Kelly Bloom’s poor health, the guilty plea of Richard Morris and that Michael Bowness had cooperated fully with the investigation.
HHJ Lea QC, in his sentencing remarks, stated that he considered this a serious case given the complete disregard for environmental legislation.
Speaking after the case, an Environment Agency officer in charge of the investigation said: “This case has taken nearly three years to bring to prosecution, but it shows that we will pursue environmental criminals for as long as it takes. Waste crime is a serious offence with tough penalties. It can damage the environment, blight local communities and undermine those who operate legally.”