A BROTHER and sister who ran a waste tyre business which was at the centre of a massive fire were both jailed for nine months yesterday after a court heard they had broken environmental laws.
Sheffield Crown Court was told Jane Hopkins, 45, and David Squire, 31, who used to live in Doncaster but have now moved to Bridlington, had continually broken the terms of their trading permit.
Craig Hassall, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, said their company Tyretrade Ltd had gone bust after they were given conditional discharges and fined £24,000 in January 2009 for the breaches.
But less than a month later a new firm Tyre Trade UK Ltd was incorporated with Hopkins as director, and the new company took over the disbanded company’s site in Whitelea Grove, Doncaster.
Business continued in various guises until the company was told its permit was no longer valid and it was evicted from the Whitelea Grove site in September 2009.
The court heard that in June 2010 there were still vast numbers of tyres at the site. In the early hours of the morning of June 28 a fire started, leading to the evacuation of 72 households.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was left with a £300,000 bill for dealing with the fire and it also cost Doncaster Metropolitan District Council £10,000 to help those residents forced to leave their homes.
Mr Hassall told the court Hopkins and Squire deliberately set up a new company to try and avoid the effects of the previous prosecution, and the fire clearly demonstrated the reasons why regulations are put in place for waste tyre operations.
Sentencing them, Judge Rosalind Coe said: “The fire was a consequence of your failure to comply with the regulations. I cannot ignore your lack of appreciation for the Environment Agency’s concern.”
She said their actions were a “blatant disregard for the law and the efforts of the Environment Agency to enforce the law.”