Suspended sentence for asbestos waste haulier

A Cornwall haulage and skip hire boss has been handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, for illegally tipping asbestos waste in an area of "outstanding natural beauty".

In an Environment Agency (EA) prosecution at Truro Crown Court, Michael Leah, director of Penzance-based Leah Ltd - which has gone into liquidation - was also ordered to pay £50,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act plus £4,000 costs.

During 2007 and 2008, Leah had illegally dumped waste, including asbestos, at three separate sites including two farms and a residential property in St Ives.

The court was told how about 9,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste were dumped at Trenoweth Farm, Gweek over a six-month period in 2007 and 2008.

Leah said he had only deposited three lorry loads of subsoil at Trenoweth Farm, but was unable to verify this by supplying the relevant waste transfer notes.

A total of five other hauliers had earlier pleaded guilty to illegally depositing and disposing of controlled waste at Trenoweth Farm in contravention of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Sentences included:

- Broad and Sons, Manaccan, Truro (2176 tonnes), £2,500 for four offences plus £4,080 payable as Proceeds of Crime (POC).

- Maen Karne Aggregates, Truro (1,875 tonnes), £2,250 for four offences plus £3,750 POC.

- St Pirrans Trucks, Camborne (1,620 tonnes), £2,000 for three offences plus £4860 POC.

- Harts Haulage Ltd, Redruth (1,500 tonnes), £1,800 for four offences plus £3,000 POC

- Michael Mudge Ltd, Praze, Camborne (1,280 tonnes), £1,600 for four offences plus £3,200 POC.

Each company was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs.