Waste “career criminal” ordered to pay £2.1m
- Health ,
- Reporting ,
- sea ice loss ,
A convicted waste crime offender has been ordered to pay £2,101,708 following a confiscation case at Worcester Crown Court, which concluded on 22 December 2020.
John Bruce, from Pershore, was ordered to pay the amount following a case brought by the Environment Agency under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He has been set a three-month deadline to pay and faces seven years in jail if he fails to do so.
Bruce received a 26-month custodial sentence in May 2018 for operating an illegal waste site at Ridgeway Park Farm, Throckmorton between 2011 and 2014.
He was initially prosecuted for six offences where waste totalling 25,000m3 was being dumped, buried and burned at the farm. The court heard how Bruce had grown his business and invested in various properties, land and cars. He also owned a large selection of expensive items of heavy plant, which he hired, bought and resold.
The judge ruled that a trust set up by Bruce was a sham, and that the money held in a bank account operated by it was for criminal benefit. It was also determined that a bank account operated by a proxy company was used to hide ongoing unlawful activity.
James Puzey, prosecuting counsel for the Agency, said: “The defendant is a dedicated career criminal who has ignored planning and environmental law to run a waste haulage and processing business.”
A spokesperson for the Agency said: “This is one of the biggest orders the Environment Agency has gained. The case shows that we’re not just content to prosecute those who run illegal waste sites, we’ll also come after them to get back the profits they made from their illegal activities and to recoup taxpayers’ money spent on pursuing them.”
Image credit: Alamy
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
In 2021, the World Economic Forum identified extreme weather, climate action failure and human-led environmental damage as being among the most likely risks of the next 10 years.
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.