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Prison Sentence ‘Demonstrates Importance Of Proper Waste Management’

Case Puts Spotlight On Environmental Law


The sentence handed down to a businessman who failed to adhere to environmental law in relation to waste management demonstrates the importance of complying with environmental legislation, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has outlined.

Stephen Richards of Cardiff has received an 18-month sentence for illegally depositing up to 26,000 tonnes of waste, including potentially dangerous asbestos materials in areas of scientific interest in Wales.

He pleaded guilty in relation to the offences, which he carried out despite being contacted by the Environment Agency on several occasions and instructed to stop depositing the waste. Mr Richards, 52, also extracted clay from areas and sold it before filling the holes with waste.

Irwin Mitchell’s environmental law team provide support to clients on both a personal and business basis, including on key environmental and regulatory issues such as waste management, water pollution and planning issues.

David Egan, a Partner and specialist in the area, said: “Cases like this highlight just why business owners and companies need to adhere to proper waste management regulations and ensure they deposit any materials in the correct manner”.

“This case is particularly concerning due to the amount of waste deposited by the businessman, as well as the concerns that material which could have posed a health risk to both workers and the public was disposed of in such an unsafe and reckless manner”.

“No company can underestimate the importance of compliance with environmental regulations and I hope that lessons are learnt from this case which will ensure further business owners will not make the same mistakes as seen in this case.”