Waste dump farmer in prison

The Surrey farmer, Percy Podger, who appealed against his conviction for dumping waste on a floodplain has been sent to prison for four months.

Mr Podger had been handed down a six month prison sentence in September by Guildford magistrates (ENDS Report, 309, p 57 ). He pleaded guilty to nine charges under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and land drainage byelaws after dumping excavated earth and rubble contaminated with prohibited Japanese knotweed on his farm near Godalming.

The Agency was concerned that the volume of waste would increase the risk of flooding. Mr Podger also tried to frustrate Agency efforts to remove the material.

At an appeal hearing on 20 November at Guildford Crown Court, Mr Justice Bassingthweight reduced Mr Podger's sentence on the grounds that two of the charges were during the same period, reflected similar facts and so should run concurrently.

The Judge commented that, because Mr Podger's unhelpful, conduct was so persistent he saw no reason to suspend the sentence.

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