Illegally dumped waste cost landowner nearly £1m - he'll only get £7,000 back

Bales of waste left at a site on Davy Way in Llay without a permit.
-Credit: (Image: Natural Resources Wales)


Almost £1m of waste was unlawfully dumped on the property of a landowner, and he's only set to receive just £7,000 in compensation. The prosecution was brought forward by Natural Resources Wales after over 1,600 tonnes of waste was illegally disposed of at the site in Llay, Wrexham.

Three individuals have since been sentenced at court for their actions. It has now surfaced during a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Mold Crown Court that landowner Nathan Church, alongside his company, has almost lost £1m in connection with the case.

A judge heard there wasn't enough money left to compensate Mr Church for the clean-up costs, and ordered one of the offenders must hand over £7,000 to Mr Church, while the other two need only pay a token sum of £1 each.

The POCA hearing involved defendants Gavin Taylor, 45, from Barlow Drive, Sheffield; Anthony Park, 55, from Coronation Road, Carmarthen, and Karl Jones, 37, from Oak Tree Close, Wickersley, Rotherham. Prosecutor Christopher Stables said that Mr Church was the director and owner of Distant Shores Ltd, where the rubbish ended up.

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Mr Church and his company were almost gutted by an estimated loss of £934,589 due to the actions of the three defendants- a figure "not far off £1 million", according to the prosecutor. Mr Stables noted Taylor accrued financial benefits totalling £351,772, though recommended that the "recoverable amount" should be a symbolic sum of £1, reports North Wales Live. The judge agreed and ordered Taylor to pay within seven days, or risk incarceration for a day.

Mr Stables said Karl Anthony Jones, who was at the helm of Banana Logistics, made a profit of £250,902 from the group's actions but suggested that only a nominal £1 should be seized. The judge concurred with these terms. Mr Stables also noted that Anthony Park had gained £304,352, admitting his guilt on the grounds that he got involved to "extinguish a debt" from another venture.

However, in contrast to his co-defendants, Park has assets amounting to £7,705 available for recovery, Mr Stables pointed out. The judge accepted this and imposed a three-month deadline for payment or Park would face a four-month prison sentence for non-compliance.

Mr Stables added that although Mr Church's company is no longer operational, "the losses continue for Mr Church". The judge ordered that the £7,705 should be paid as compensation to Mr Church from the confiscated funds. For the latest court reports, sign up to our crime newsletter here

Previously, in April last year, a court heard two individuals illegally dumped waste in Wrexham, displaying a "flagrant disregard" for regulations, according to a judge. It was discovered a wall had been demolished to cram cube-shaped bales of rubbish into a storage facility, which upon inspection, was swarming with flies and radiating heat, leading firefighters to fear spontaneous combustion.

Anthony Gordon Park, at the time 54 years old, had been operating out of the building at Llay industrial estate to pay off debt owed to "sinister individuals" who were threatening him, as heard by Caernarfon Crown Court. Park admitted his guilt in running a regulated facility without an environmental permit between May 1 and 20, 2017.

Then aged 36, co-defendant Gavin Taylor was responsible for passing a fraudulent document to a third man, Karl Jones, also aged 36, asserting it was an environmental permit for the site, but which in reality referred instead to another unrelated location in Newton-le-Willows on Merseyside.

Taylor admitted knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited on land otherwise than in accordance with an environment permit between the same dates. At their sentencing hearing last year, both men received 14-month jail terms suspended for 18 months from a judge.

Karl Jones, living at Oak Tree Close in Wickersley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, also pleaded guilty also admitted knowingly causing controlled waste to be deposited on land otherwise than in accordance with an environment permit between the same dates. His sentence comprised a 12-month community order involving 68 hours of unpaid work.

In April last year Mr Stables said Park had considered multiple sites for his operations. He met a commercial estate agent from Legat Owen at a hangar on Deeside in 2017, claiming to have a contract with the Jamaican Embassy to store and later manufacture wind turbines.

However, in May of that year, he finally handed over £5,000 in cash - but failed to pay any VAT - to license a unit on Llay industrial estate. The court was informed that shortly after, Natural Resources Wales received a report of bales being dumped at the site. NRW staff discovered three trailers being unloaded by two men, using a telehandler which was later identified as stolen from Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester.

The waste consisted of wood, carpet, glass, fibre and foam. The two men in Llay informed the NRW officers they were employed by a Tony Park. Upon inspection of the unit, the NRW officers encountered flies and a potent odour emanating from the bales in the building, which was three quarters full.