April proved to be a very busy month for Environmental prosecutions, with an eclectic mix of fines and sentences handed to people breaking various environmental laws ranging from fishing to dropping litter.
The first week of April saw two prosecutions related specifically to the disposal and handling of old tyres.
In Worcester, Mark Alexander Smith was handed a 12 month custodial sentence after it was discovered that he was storing close to half a million tyres at his workplace and home.
In 2003, Mr Smith was advised by the Environment Agency that he required a Waste Management Licence to continue with his business legally. However, he failed to obtain such a licence and continued depositing and storing tyres illegally.
His company then went into liquidation, and Mr Smith was left with the tyres. The liquidation did not stop his business activities and he continued, without a licence. He was visited again in 2007 by Environmental Agency officers and court proceedings were taken against him.
Meanwhile, a joint operation with the Environment Agency, Devon & Cornwall and Avon & Somerset Police resulted in a further three arrests for people illegally handling and disposing of tyres.
Week two of April saw Swindon Council prosecute two people for dropping their cigarette ends in the town as part of a crackdown in nuisance litter. Lee Gillett and Jacqueline Watling appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court and were fined £80 each and ordered to pay court costs.
The council’s environmental enforcement officers are now targeting shoppers and pedestrians in the town centre.
The third week of April bought a £6,000 fine for Blackpool Pleasure beach, after they were found guilty of six offences of failing to recover and recycle packaging waste.
The charges were bought as it failed to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging waste and meet requirements to recover packaging waste over 2006 and 2007.
Blackpool pleasure beach produce various different packaging in a variety of forms, from wrappers on soaps in hotels to water bottles and food containers.
Finally, King’s Lynn Magistrates court has, in the final week of April, handed out its largest ever angling fine, for a person attempting to take fish and using rods and lines in such a way as to cause harm to fish.
Matthew Collins from Hertford was fined nearly £1,000 and Thomas Coombes, also from Hertford was fined nearly £400 pounds for using rods and lines in a way to cause harm to fish.
In addition, both men were fishing in a no fishing area