Welsh farmer to pay £160,000 fine or go to jail

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Dairy farmer must pay £160,000 criminal proceeds for operating an illegal waste business or face jail

A farmer in Wales, who operated an illegal waste business on his land, has been told to he must pay almost £160,000 in criminal proceeds costs or he will face two years imprisonment.

The illegal waste activity at the defendant’s farm was discovered by South Wales Police and the Natural Resources Wales – then Environment Agency Wales – who carried out an investigation at the Gorseinon dairy farm in 2010 and found piles of waste, including building waste such as plasterboard, plastic, wood, metals and even old carpets.

Farmers must pay fine for illegal waste activity or face jail

Dairy farm at Gorseinon, Wales

In December last year, the defendant appeared in Swansea Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to storing, tipping and sorting waste on a commercial scale without the necessary environmental permits. The case was adjourned by the judge, who requested a pre-sentence report and a Proceeds of Crime Act analysis to be made.

The defendant appeared in Swansea Crown Court last week for final sentencing, where prosecution and defence agreed that the defendant must pay £158,684.01 in criminal proceeds and £40,000 in costs to the prosecutor. The dairy farmer has just three months to pay the former heavier fine, otherwise he will face a two year jail term.

He was also given a community service order and a two month curfew by Judge Paul Thomas QC who said the defendant’s activity had been “sustained criminality” and that “the environment, after all, belongs to all of us.”

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