Darlington man jailed for failing to pay back illegal waste proceeds

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Mr Shepherd failed to pay back £350,000

A waste operator from Darlington has received a three year jail sentence at Teesside Magistrate’s Court, after failing to re-pay back the earnings he acquired from his illegal waste activities.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Tony Leigh Shepherd, of Winston, was ordered to re-pay £350,000.

Mr Shepherd, aged 41, received a twelve month jail sentence, suspended for two years, in February 2014, after he pleaded guilty to two offences of operating an illegal waste site between August 2009 and March 2011.

He also pleaded guilty to a third charge of running an illegal waste site at Hackworth Industrial Estate, between December 2010 and July 2011.

Proceedings were then issued by the Environment Agency to recover the total value of Mr Shepherd’s available assets, that they alleged had been obtained through criminal activity.

Shepherd was ordered back for a confiscation hearing at Teesside Crown Court in August 2015, where it was ruled that he had to pay back the money he had earned from his illegal waste activities.

Dave Edwardson, the Environment Agency’s enforcement team leader for the north east, said it was a “significant result” that sends a clear message to anybody who disregards the law.

He added: “We took Shepherd to court for his crimes and then sought to hit him in the pocket by recovering the money it was believed he gained through his criminal activity, resulting in the biggest confiscation order for us in the North East.”

Mr Edwardson went on to say that because Shepherd failed to pay back his illegal earnings, he has now been given a jail sentence and that he will still have a debt for life that must be paid back.

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