On Tuesday 09 October 2018 Michael Newsome was sentenced to a total of 8 months imprisonment (4 months consecutive for each offence) suspended for 24 months. Newsome was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the community, ordered to pay a total of £12,131.90 in compensation to the landowners where he abandoned tyres and a contribution of £1,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaking the law in Peterborough and Whittlesey.
Peterborough Magistrates heard that Newsome, aged 28, of Overwater Close, Stukeley Meadows, Huntingdon, traded as Cambridgeshire Rubber Recycling Ltd and even advertised on Facebook as being licensed.
First he set up in Peterborough having registered an exemption that allowed him a limited number of tyres on site to be stored under set conditions for safety.
Mr Gurjit Bdesha, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that Newsome leased the Dickens Street site from an 82-year-old man to shred tyres, which he failed to do. Instead, he took well in excess of the number of tyres allowed under the exemption and stored them in a way that had no fire breaks.
Mr Bdesha said:
This was especially important as the site is in the middle of a residential area with the nearest home being 13 metres away. Tyres can combust and fire can easily spread.
Despite being asked to move the tyres, Newsome made no effort to clear the site and the landlord ejected him. He later broke into a lockaway on site, damaging the door, to take back equipment belonging to him. He left behind 87 tonnes of tyres (9,050) costing the landlord £8,121.
After being evicted Newsome took on a site at Lazy Acre Farm, Whittlesey and carried on business, failing to even register an exemption.
The landlord became worried at the number of tyres on site with no equipment to process them and asked him to leave.
Mr Bdesha continued:
The landlord was so desperate for Newsome to leave the site and clear the tyres that he was prepared to waive rent arrears of £3,500 if he removed them. The tyres were left there.
At that site Newsome abandoned 117 tonnes of tyres (14,040).
Mr Bdesha told the court that the site was listed as a High Risk Fire site as the tyres were stored within 70 metres of the mainline railway from Birmingham to Stansted Airport. If there had been a fire due to arson or self-combustion then the impact could have resulted in the closure of the railway and caused significant disruption to the national railway transport network.
He said there had been 2 failed attempts to arrest Newsome, 2 failed attempts to get him to voluntarily attend interview with Environment Agency investigators and since then no communication from him.
After the hearing Enforcement Team Leader Phil Henderson said:
We require operators have an approved fire prevention plan in place before a permit is issued. The Environment Agency seeks to work with operators to ensure compliance with the relevant environmental regulations.
However, as in this case, where those operators fail to take this advice we are compelled to take action, particularly in cases where the storage of waste may risk local residents or our transport infrastructure.’
Newsome pleaded guilty to:
On or before 3 November 2015 on land known as 61 Dickens Street, Peterborough, PE1 5ER, you operated a regulated facility, namely a tyre treatment and disposal facility, without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 12 of the Environmental Permitted (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Between 1 December 2015 and 31 December 2016 on land known as Lazy Acre Farm, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1GR, you operated a regulated facility, namely a tyre treatment and disposal facility, without being authorised by an environmental permit granted under Regulation 12 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. Contrary to Regulation 12 and 38(1)(a) Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.