A landowner was ordered to hand over £207,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act for rent payments he received from illegally operated waste sites.
Kevin Patrick Henry O’Sullivan was also fined £34,985 plus £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay a contribution to Environment Agency costs of £13,000 by Chelmsford Crown Court for allowing his tenants to operate illegally.
O’Sullivan of Brentwood, Essex, owns an industrial estate where he let 16 units for vehicle breaking, skip waste transfer, waste burning and scrap storage.
Police aerial photography showed illegal waste activities on site in July 2009. Environment Agency officers went to the site on various dates in 2010 to investigate.
Some of the waste was hazardous and had contaminated the ground, the court heard. Plastics, rubber and treated wood had also been burned illegally causing a nuisance and could have been harmful to health. An extensive clean-up was needed for many of the sites.
O’Sullivan was interviewed three times and written to twice explaining that he must not allow waste operations on his land. He said 80% of the tenants did not speak English so he had not checked with them about the need to have a permit.