Michael Todd has been sentenced to a 12-month community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work for operating an illegal waste site that saw sons jailed.
Todd was also disqualified from acting as a company director for five years. Speaking at the sentencing, Judge Simon Batiste said that Todd had been “reckless” rather than deliberate. He added that it was “evident” that Todd had removed and imported “significant numbers of loads of waste” to and from the site.
Michael Todd, 65, of Leeds Road, Barwick-in-Elmet, West Yorkshire, appeared at Leeds crown court on 25 May. He pleaded guilty to two counts.
Jamie and Thomas Todd and Bryan Walker were all sentenced at Leeds crown court on 19 May 2023. Jamie Todd, Thomas Todd and Michael Todd will return to court later this year concerning a Proceeds of Crime Act enquiry.
Between June 2015 and April 2017, Thomas Todd, Jamie Todd, Bryan Walker and Michael Todd managed businesses operating from the former Bowman’s site, in Lincolnshire, near the A52.
On 8 June 2015, the site’s environmental permit was transferred to East Coast Recycling Properties Ltd., which was run by Michael Todd’s sons, Jamie and Thomas Todd. This permit allowed for the processing of mixed waste to extract recyclable materials.
Waste crime is serious because it causes widespread and significant harm.
The Environment Agency began to conduct inspections at the site shortly afterwards and quickly found failings. The site’s permit required a fire-prevention plan to be in place, which was especially important as the site was surrounded by arable land and the nearest residential premises were 10m away. However, the brothers didn’t have a plan in place.
Inspections also found that waste was being stacked too high and close together, creating a fire risk. The waste had also become a health risk following an influx of mice and a problem with flies. As a result, the Environment Agency suspended the site’s permit, stopping new material from being brought in between December 2015 and February 2016.
In July 2016, a new company Eco Green Logistics Limited registered an exemption to start waste work on another section of the Bowman’s site with Bryan Walker as the registered director of the company. He also allowed too much waste into his section of the site leading to waste being stored unsafely and presenting a fire risk.
Amongst the evidence was a diary owned by Michael Todd, which highlighted a day when waste could not be brought onto the site because of a visit by Environment Agency officers.
We support businesses trying to do the right thing and genuinely comply
Yvonne Daly, an environment manager at the Environment Agency, commented: “Waste crime is serious because it causes widespread and significant harm: to people, places, the economy, to law and order, and the environment.
“Any breaches of environmental permits and illegal waste activity are taken very seriously. We will take the necessary action to disrupt criminal activity and prosecute those responsible.
“We support businesses trying to do the right thing and genuinely comply, but we will issue enforcement notices, and use our regulatory powers when appropriate.”