An HGV driver in Essex has been jailed for a total of 16 months following the “sophisticated” and “cynical” dumping of waste. James Atkins, 29, was found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court of controlling a lorry used to dump mixed waste under the cover of darkness at an industrial site in Kent. He was given a 14-month sentence for the waste deposit offences. He was handed another month for failure to surrender himself to the court at an earlier hearing and was also given a further month in jail for committing the waste offence while subject to a suspended sentence for driving whilst disqualified. He was also ordered to pay £6,000 costs.
Under the code-name Operation Bayleaf, environment agency (EA) officers analysed CCTV footage that showed waste being dumped at night at Swan industrial estate in Dartford. They identified the registration details of an articulated lorry depositing the waste, consisting of brick rubble, soils and plastic. The vehicle was later seized in Purfleet and when Atkins attempted to retrieve the vehicle he was interviewed under caution. EA barrister Nicholas Ostrowski told the court that Atkins’ activities had allowed him to avoid the fees and taxes associated with lawful disposal. He said that “he had undermined lawful competitors” and “caused significant interference with the legitimate activities of industrial estate users and business owners.”