A businessman who ran a waste disposal facility with no permit has been hit with a hefty fine by the courts.
Bedford Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday how Kenneth Murphy ignored warnings by the Environment Agency and continued to run a waste disposal service at his skip hire business at Hill Farm in Maulden.
He had previously admitted he was guilty of the offence of operating a regulated facility, namely a waste operation for the deposit and storage of waste, without being authorised by an environmental permit between September 2 and October 12, 2012.
The court was also asked to take into consideration a previous offence that Murphy had admitted to, which was the same charge between July 28, 2011 and November 12, 2011.
It was heard that Murphy had originally asked the owners of the farm, two brothers, if he could store a skip lorry on their land. They agreed he could for a fee.
He then asked if he could store empty skips, which the brothers agreed to. But they then noticed that waste was being stored at the site and told Murphy that this was not allowed.
Prosecuting on behalf of the Environment Agency Miss Cranfield said: “The Environment Agency visited in 2012 and witnessed five skips of waste.
“Items included soils, plastic, car batteries and what appeared to be asbestos.”
Murphy, from Luton, was interviewed by police and admitted to the offence straight away. He told them that he could not afford to dispose of the waste in the correct way.
She added: “A future visit showed that there were still skips at the site, as well as waste on the site.”
Magistrates heard from a probation report that Murphy has a wife and two children and a mortgage and has been struggling financially. He is currently unemployed, but is looking to return to London to work for a former employer as a plumber.
Defending Philip Ivinson said: “Mr Murphy gave up a well paid job in London because his stepson persuaded him there was plenty of money in the skip hire business. But he personally didn’t see it and financially struggled.”
He added that Murphy was not guilty of flytipping, but merely taking “shortcuts” because his business was finacially struggling to make ends meet.
Magistrates branded the offence “calculated” and ordered that Murphy pay a fine of £6,552.45.