Fly-tippers jailed and ordered to pay back £230,000 for illegal dumping spree

Will Metcalfe

Three fly-tippers have been ordered to pay back more than £230,000 after illegally dumping hundreds of tonnes of waste in a "highly-organised" operation.

William Jones, 39, Sean Collard, 53, and Glenn Harper, 33, have all been jailed after they were caught on CCTV caught dumping a mixture of household waste, wood and textiles from a lorry with a false number plates.

Investigators from the Environment Agency first discovered the men had broken into a yard in Choats Road, Barking, Essex in October 2012.

The footage showed waste spilling onto the ground due to the amount of waste which was packed into the lorry.

William Jones, 39, who was jailed for 12 months and ordered to pay thousands for his part in a fly-tipping plot. (SWNS)
Video grab from footage of the gang illegally dumping waste on Choats Road, Barking. (SWNS)

Jones, of Stratford, London, Harper, of Wickford, Essex, and Collard, of Rainham, Essex, struck again the following month at a printing works.

The men used an articulated lorry to tip 640 tonnes of stones, rubble, earth, clay and chalk at the site in Oliver Road, Thurrock, costing the landowners more than £120,000 to clear.

On New Year's Day in 2013, Jones rented a yard from Network Rail in Waltham Cross, Herts.

Environment Agency (EA) officers later found that the site was filled with rotting waste baled and wrapped in black plastic.

Nine months later the gang struck again in Barking, Essex.

Video grab from footage of the gang entering and exiting the site at Arnolds Field, Rainham. (SWNS)

In October 2013, agency investigators pursued a lorry driven by Collard between two addresses either side of the A13.

He was seen dumping more waste at a building site in Abbey Road and he was soon joined by Jones and Harper in a Citroen van.

The final act in the gang's 18-month spree of dumping waste illegally, took place with a series of visits to a former landfill site in Rainham in 2014.

Sitting at Snaresbrook Crown Court, London on May 22, Judge Patricia Lees said the trio's criminal behaviour was motivated by money, with a financial cost to landowners, residents and the public purse - as well as causing environmental damage.

Some of the rubbish dumped illegally at Choats Road, Barking.
Video grab from footage of the gang illegally dumping waste on Choats Road, Barking.

Jones was jailed for 13 months and ordered to pay £80,000 in three months or have his jail term extended by 18 months for four counts of breaking environmental law.

Harper was jailed for 12 months and ordered to pay back £146,755 within three months or face an additional two years in prison, after admitting four counts of breaching environmental law.

Collard was sentenced to eight months suspended sentence for two years, 200 hours of unpaid work and a curfew between 7.30pm and 5.30am, in force for three months.

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Emma Viner, area enforcement manager for the EA, said: "Jones, Harper and Collard had no concern for the cost to the landowners or taxpayers, less still, the harm dumping hundreds of tonnes of waste would have on the environment.

"This highly-organised operation broke the law on a commercial scale, but that same law caught up with them in the end.”

Harper and Collard each pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching environmental law and Jones admitted three counts.