4 April 2021

Fines for illegal waste wood operation

Two company directors have been in court for operating an illegal waste wood operation in Essex, UK.

Waste wood exhibit
The abandoned wood waste © The Environment Agency

One was ordered to pay £50,000 in fines, compensation and legal costs while the other faces a five year ban as a company director.

By a unanimous verdict, 47 year old Mr Finbar Francis Breslin, was found guilty in his role as director for causing Prime Biomass Ltd to commit the offence of operating a regulated facility without a permit. A sentence of conditional discharge for two years was passed and a five year director’s disqualification order imposed against him.

Also by a unanimous verdict, 59 year old Mr Mehmet Mustafa was also found guilty for his part in the same crime and sentenced him to a fine of £4,000, a compensation order of £30,000 to the victim who was left with the abandoned wood waste and he was ordered to pay a contribution towards the prosecution costs in the sum of £16,000.

A third director was acquitted by a majority verdict.

The hearing follows a five week trial at the Old Bailey in October and November 2018.The Environment Agency prosecuted the three directors for storing and treating waste wood in excess of the 500 tonne limit allowed by the waste exemption they had registered - causing a substantial dust contamination to neighbouring businesses, a fire risk to the local environment and passing on the costs to the landowner by abandoning the waste.

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