Waste dumpers receive custodial sentence

Illegal waste activity has seen a father and son jailed and made to pay £34,000 costs

A father and son have been jailed for eight months following a conviction for dumping and burning toxic waste.

Robert and Matthew Bilsby were also made to pay £28,000 in costs, and £6,000 compensation to the land owner for the clean up of his land.

The pair pleaded guilty at Hove crown court on 22 December to three waste charges, contrary to sections 33(1)a, 33(1)c and 34(6) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

They were also charged under sections 2(1) and 2(5) of the Clean Air Act 1993 for illegally causing and permitting dark smoke.

The court heard that between February 2007 and late 2009, the pair used land they rented in Westfield, East Sussex, to illegally dispose of waste collected through their skip hire business, 1066 Skips.

Much of this waste – which included toxic plastics, fabrics, wood and general rubbish – was then illegally burned, often aided by accelerants such as petrol.  

The investigation was led by Rother District Council, with close support from the Environment Agency. Council officers began a covert surveillance operation following local complaints.

Mr Stuart Howard, the landowner, had to remove 20 lorry loads of rubble form the site when the Bilsby’s moved their business at the end of 2009.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Tony Ganly said: “This investigation forms part of the council’s ‘Sense of Place’ project which looks to crack down on fly-tipping in our district. This prosecution is further evidence of its success.”

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