Illegal dumping of thousands of tyres lands man jail term

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Staff reporter

A MAN has been jailed after a court heard how thousands of old vehicle tyres were dumped illegally at two sites on the Welsh/Shropshire border.

Father of two Mark Watts illegally stored at least 42,500 worn tyres at his then home at Abercynllaith, Penybont, near Oswestry and a second site at Broad Oak Farm, Whitchurch.

Mold Crown Court heard while he had no previous convictions, he had previously walked away from an illegal plastic recycling operation in Staffordshire leaving the landowner to pick up the tab for cleaning up the site.

Jailing him for a year, Judge Niclas Parry said Watts, motivated by financial gain, had illegally disposed of a large quantity of tyres at the two sites.

“You made a conscious, deliberate decision to flout the laws, which you knew were there to protect human health and the environment,” the judge told him.

The judge said the disposal of waste tyres was a huge environmental problem.

“You ignored warnings and flagrantly disregarded notices and continued to offend.”

Watts, 42, had gained a substantial and unfair advantage over legitimate competitors who worked with the law.

He knew the risks to human health and to the environment, but mercifully there had been no fire and  no pollution, but he had left the owners of the land to pay the cost of clearing the sites.

The judge said there had to be an element of deterrent in the sentence and only custody could be justified.

Watts, of Redwood Drive, Burntwood, Staffordshire, admitted two charges of illegally dumping tyre and two charges of failing to remove them in 2008 and 2009.

Jonathan Salmon, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said Watts admitted the offences in Wrexham Magistrates’ Court last summer.

Watts had operated a tyre disposal company with a very similar name to a national waste company to give it “a veneer of respectability”.

Charles Hanmer, defending, said that his client’s family had been through a torrid time.

Both he and his wife were bankrupt and they were in a dire financial state.

He was now earning £500 a week as a waste carrier for another firm.

It was accepted he had deliberately closed his eyes to the legal requirements.

He had such tight margins that it was difficult for him to make a profit and could not
cover the costs of operating legitimately.

See full story in the Leader

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