A Newcastle man has been handed a suspended prison sentence for running an illegal waste site.
Leonard Sutherland, 77, from Burns Close Pig Farm at Armstrong Street in Callerton, appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 7 February.
It had originally been set for trial, but on his appearance he pleaded guilty to operating a waste site without a permit at Burns Close Pig Farm.
He was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. He must also clear all waste from the site by 7 April.
Significant amount of waste
On behalf of the Environment Agency, solicitor Simon Crowder told the court that two Environment Officers attended the site on seven different dates between January 2015 and July 2016.
They saw a significant amount of mixed waste on the ground, with new waste noticed on each visit. The waste had been sorted into types, and there was some evidence of burning.
On talking to Sutherland, he said it was someone else who was responsible for putting the waste on his land. This person was spoken to and evidence gathered, but there was no link between his activities and the waste at the site. Sutherland also said he was in poor health.
In March 2015, Sutherland agreed with the Environment Agency that the site would be cleared within two months and waste transfer notes would be provided. The site was not cleared.
The Environment Agency’s Andy Rothery, who was involved in the investigation, said after the case:
Sutherland was repeatedly told the waste on his site was illegal and despite being given opportunities to clear it, this didn’t happen. Illegal waste activity has a detrimental impact on the community and environment, as well as undermining legitimate businesses.
We’ll continue to work hard to ensure enforcement action is taken against those who flout the law.