Court shows way by probing fly-tipper's finances

Uncritical acceptance by the courts of defendants' claims about their impoverished financial situation has resulted in very small fines being imposed in several recent cases of large-scale illegal waste dumping. But a prosecution in Lincolnshire has underlined that courts have it in their power to investigate defendants' financial position before deciding on an appropriate sentence.

The two most notorious recent cases where illegal waste management practices have resulted in negligible penalties were a prolonged large-scale landfill operation in Manchester which attracted a £20 fine (ENDS Report 215, pp 40-41 ), and an unlicensed hazardous waste transfer station in Rochdale for which th

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