Man jailed for running illegal skip hire firm

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A PENSIONER is facing 20 months in prison after being found guilty of repeated waste crimes spanning two years.

Robert Nicholas Byard, 65. was also ordered to pay costs of £53,949 to the Environment Agency, which brought the case.

Diana Maudslay, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told Derby Crown Court how the allegations concerned the running of a skip hire business from Byard’s home address at Hillside Farm in Wingerworth, Chesterfield, with no permit.

The two offences are for activities at the farm dating between November 2008 and August 2010.

In March 2009, environmental crime officers first conducted surveillance operations of the farm, where they saw skips full of waste arriving and then leaving empty.

Household waste, electrical waste, wood and contaminated waste was being moved in skips by vans with “Byard Skip Hire” written on the side.

There were also piles of waste about three metres high, consisting of wood metal, cable, bricks, concrete and soil.

The court heard that Byard had run the business since 1995 and these two charges are just the latest in a string of convictions.

Byard was already on a suspended sentence after being found guilty of 20 similar offences in 2008. He was also prosecuted for environmental crimes in 1997 and 2000.

Ms Maudslay said that by operating the site without an environmental permit, the business had made “considerable” savings.

Speaking after the case, Paul Salter, senior environmental crime officer at the Environment Agency said: “This draws a line under a longstanding problem at this site and demonstrates our commitment to tackle operators who flout the law.

“This was a case of repeated offending, despite warnings and previous convictions. It was driven by greed, with no thought to the effects upon people living near the site, nor the environment.”