‘Prolific’ waste offender ordered to pay £360,000

A prolific waste crime offender has been ordered to pay £368,682 for causing “unacceptable risks to the environment” by allowing hazardous, large scale, mixed household and commercial waste materials to be deposited at two waste sites in Lancashire without a permit.

In 2021, then 75-year-old John Leslie Allison was jailed for three years for carrying out illegal waste activities at two sites in Colne, Lancashire without a permit.

Leslie had previously been sentenced to six months imprisonment in 2019 after he was found guilty of ignoring a court order to remove waste he had dumped on his own land.

He has now appeared before Preston Crown Court after the Environment Agency pursued confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act where a convicted defendant is ordered to pay the amount that they benefited from crime. 

The Crown Court found that Leslie benefited from £840,814 from his illegal waste activities and has ordered him to pay £368,682, fixed by the total value of assets available. 

According to the Environment Agency, the crimes caused “unacceptable risks to the environment”, which were highlighted by a number of significant fires at the site and numerous complaints from the public. 

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We welcome the result of this proceeds of crime following the offences committed by prolific offender Mr Allison. This sends out a strong signal to others that we will continue to fight tirelessly to combat illegal waste crime and bring those responsible to justice.

“The Environment Agency will continue to work tirelessly to tackle environmental crime which can have a devastating impact on the environment and local community.”