Peters & Peters

Director fined for operating unlawful waste facility

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Key facts:

At Worcester Crown Court in September 2023, Gary Shorthouse and G R Shorthouse Ltd pleaded guilty to unlawfully storing, treating and disposing of waste without an environmental permit between September 2018 and November 2019.

The company ran a skip-hire business, bringing waste to the site from domestic and commercial customers, for financial gain. The waste was then sorted, with some waste being burned, metal being sold for scrap, and the remainder being sent for legitimate disposal elsewhere. The company and Mr Shorthouse were charged separately under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016. The prosecution’s case was that the illegal activity was carried out by the company but that Mr Shorthouse consented or connived to the relevant offence.

In July 2019, Mr Shorthouse had been advised to cease the unlawful activity; he was subsequently interviewed under caution in September 2019, during which he admitted that the company was using the site as a base for the skip-hire business. He also admitted that the company was storing, treating and burning waste.

Despite his early admissions, Mr Shorthouse was fined £68,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £33,395.74. He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for five years. The company was fined £8,500. In sentencing, the judge took into account previous offences stating that the offending amounted to an intentional and flagrant breach of the law and was aggravated by the previous convictions and financial motivation.

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